The Golden Beer Bar Closes

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The Golden Beer Bar Closes

 

GOLDEN BAR PIC

 

The Golden Beer Bar closed on 30th September 2015, after first opening way back in 1997. It was located on Soi 4, a stones throw from Nana Plaza, and was connected to the long standing and iconic Nana Hotel (As of August 2016 room rates were around 1500 baht). The owner has sold up and a soulless premium franchise bar and restaurant is due to take it’s place.

 

Early morning trade around 9am, 29/Nov/2012

Early morning trade, the time is 9am, 29/Nov/2012

 

I never really went to the Golden Bar that much, but I liked the fact that it was there. If I did want a beer or 2, it always seemed that nearly all the best seats were taken. It was like a slice of history sitting there, unchanged, year after year. A bar stuck in some sort of weird time warp where everything was old fashioned. Yes, it was dingy, a bit dirty, but it was like a throwback to a bygone era in the past that is currently being erased and forgotten at breakneck speed.

 

GOLDEN PIC OUTSITE

Not much has changed from 2012. Late afternoon, September 2015.

 

It had it’s place, but too much time has passed now and the bar hasn’t moved with the times, or rather it couldn’t move with the times. The Golden bar had a loyal following with people returning year after year, also the customers had a reputation for being cheap charlies. I don’t buy that. I think the guys that frequented the place just had good judgement on what is a good bar.

 

 

 

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The outer bar had 2 sides, the front, and this side which was perfect for eyeing up the freelancers that hang around the Nana Hotel car park area.

The Golden bar did the basics right, reasonably priced drinks, perfect people watching and ladies inside that didn’t hassle too much. It also had the bonus of being one of the best bars to drink at and eye up the freelancers. The service was fine and in the last few years it was very rare to hear stories of any unsavoury incidents that happened in the bar.

 

VIEW FROM GOLDEN

Nana Plaza View. September 2015.

The view from the Golden bar gave a wonderful sight of the front of Nana Plaza, and its adjacent premises. If you blinked you could have imagined sipping you beer in any one of the 18 years it was open for, the bar was that unchanged and oozing nostalgia.

The one time that I ALWAYS did go to the Golden bar was during the Songkran Thai New Year festival. Songkran is basically 3 days of drunken waterfighting madness. With it’s prime position near Nana Plaza and opposite the huge Hillary 4 bar (before 2012 it was Strikers), people tended to congregate near the Golden Bar and contribute to the Songkran bedlam.

 

GOLDEN 2013 SONGKRAN

Songkran Festival, April 2013.

 

GOLDEN SONGKRAN 3

A half Thai child cowers to her mother inside the Golden Bar, as the drunken Songkran shenanigans easily get overwhelming. April 2013.

 

GOLDEN SONGKRAN 2

Songkran from inside the Golden bar, April 2013 (note the Zen bar has now changed to the K&S bar).

 

 

Golden pic nice

The side of the bar brought you within touching distance of the freelancers, many a negotiation took place over the railings. July 2015.

If you were on the hunt for freelancers, you couldn’t go wrong with sitting on the side of the bar next to the Nana Hotel car park. Smile, speak slowly and clear, and negotiate a price that both parties are happy with.

 

This view shows very clearly how the building was just added onto the front of the Nana Hotel, like an afterthought.

This view shows how the building construction was just added onto the front of the Nana Hotel, like an afterthought. April 2015.

 

GOLDEN PIC BAR INSIDE

Inside the bar. September 2015.

On my last visit I couldn’t get a front or even a table seat in the low season. I had to hunch over the bar alone nursing my beer, while trying to watch some sport on a grainy, flickering widescreen TV. Watching sports must have been low on the priorities for many Golden Bar customers.

 

GOLDEN VIEW FROM THE SIDE

The view from the Nana Car Park late in the evening.

 

GOLDEN BLOGpic

Drinks menu. September 2015.

The Golden Bar drink prices were very reasonable. Not jacking the prices up yearly or at every given opportunity. This meant little hassling for the lady drinks which you can see in the above pic were a very reasonable 80 baht.

 

BLOG GOLDENy

My last bill at the Golden Beer Bar. September 2015.

 

Drink receipts were all hand written, not on par with the automated bills that many of the bars on Soi Nana use today.

 

Thinking about Bangkok bars that are high on the nostalgia factor, they are getting thin on the ground these days. One notable exception would be the Country Road Bar on Blade Runner Alley (or what is left of it – Oct 2015). If you get the chance to visit this bar, you won’t regret it, especially if you like playing pool or live music.

 

 

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Ready for demolition. 1 October 2015.

 

The above video has some footage inside the Golden bar from September 2015.

 

Check here for Bangkok112 recommended hotels close to Nana Plaza.

 

So another one bites the dust. The Bangkok Nightlife Scene is constantly evolving at the moment, with in particular money pouring into Nana Plaza bars in preparation for this years high season.

When, in place of the Golden Bar, the new premium franchise bar and restaurant opens what will the clientele think of all the scantily clad freelancers loitering around? If you are paying 300 baht for a beer and 600 for a burger then surely seeking out freelancers won’t be your scene. And how about the ageing Nana Hotel itself?

Maybe this move is only the first step, and a bigger development is on the horizon for the Nana Hotel? No doubt the freelancers will move around to new spots for getting customers if needed, with the walk at the front of the current Strikers bar being popular at present. Time will tell what will happen but the old saying rings true that is absolutely no sentiment in business, and you must evolve or die.

 

 

 

Comments 13

  1. vinzard

    I’m feelin very sad… cause this is the only bar highlights the nana, the soi 4, the girls, and if someone stay in bangkok for recent years and been to soi 4 never can’t forget about this place…Thank u very much Bkk 112 for the news.. I always miss bkk (The city never sleeps) specially sukhumvit soi 3, soi 4, On Nut, mbk & the sky train of course.. Thanx

  2. Artie

    This saddens me greatly, but it lines up with the demolition of Washington Square and the decline of Soi Cowboy and Soi 22 as places where you could still have a reasonable time without spending a fortune. I left Pattaya for Cambodia in May this year after 12 months of trying to recapture the ‘good times’, and I’m convinced that those days are well and truly gone. Its not just the prices – we had to expect that a big city like Bangkok would eventually get the same disease as Singapore and KL (two cities that many in BKK would like to emulate) – its the attitude of too many in the industry from the girls to the bar owners. I especially loathe the Thai cops and everyone else who profits from the industry while publicly decrying the impact of prostitution on Thailand’s image. That hypocrisy can be found in every Asian country I’ve visited (reaching its zenith in Indonesia), but its especially hard to take in a country with so many larger problems. I hope I can find another bar like Golden Bar in January 2016, but I’m not confident – it was a welcome relic of a much better time for casual visitors to Bangkok.

    1. Post
      Author
      Bangkok 112

      It’s a shame the Golden Bar is gone that’s for sure. There are becoming fewer and fewer cheaper and more relaxed bars now in lower Sukhumvit. I supposed time never stands still and you always have to move with the times. I can recommend the Balcony Bar in Nana Plaza (still 69 baht drinks all night!), and Country Road bar in the alley between Sois 5 and 7 (not cheap but great atmosphere). I’m sure if the prices rise too much then the bars will feel it and have to rethink to be successful. I wouldn’t worry about Bangkok becoming another generic, sterile city like Singapore or KL, there is too much intrinsic corruption around for that to happen. Thanks for your comment Artie and have a good day Sir!

  3. phil

    Since Thailand is gradually killing the fun and rising price , i myself started to visit other countries nearby.
    I almost stopped going to Gogos because girls are less playfull and crazy than before. I prefer heading to better restaurant and eating insteand
    of F……

    I think there is no good spot now. Its all fragmented . Internet , bars.
    Sad but boring life is ahead.

  4. Odd Vidar

    Golden beer bar My safe ankerspot in the world…. I vil surly miss you.
    Early morning, midday or late night, IT was always a nice place to sit, and pleasent company if you wanted it

  5. dave blake

    Damn, Damn, this is a sad day. I leave on Jan. 12th and I’ve been visualizing a cold beer at my favorite spot. I guess I’ll be a Hillary 2 full time now.

  6. andy

    always a had beer here ,saw all the work when i as there in november , went to hooters last week when i was in bkk not the same the girls are nice though lol

  7. steve astin

    this was the place ,been going here since it opened ,as far as bars go that have real people going in them its now over,i will miss it dearly,thanks for the memories

  8. sunderland stephen

    Corporate take over of the world is making the world ever blander. Soho in London has been almost completely wrecked because of it . I’m not talking about the sex industry part of it but the individuality of the all the premises that were once there. Once gone you never get then back. Have met more than a few people who left Thailand for Cambodia ten years ago because they’d witnessed the start of this.

  9. Jay Dawg

    I would sit here on many a visit to BKK. So many memories were in that bar, great people watching spot. Thanks for posting up a nice little video of the Golden. A video series I did a while back on having fun in Thailand started off there in the Golden. The history is disappearing in BKK. It is so crazy how on one trip you see a new thing in Thailand and on your next trip 6 months later it’s gone.

    The best idea for a place to visit was just around the corner from the Nana hotel on Sukhumvit road was a place called Champagne. You picked a girl from a group of the most beautiful girls in BKK. The owner tried to get you to take more than one. Then you went upstairs to a private room with the girl. You were then served a seven course meal and fed by the girl you picked. After dinner you had dessert. Mine that night I went there told me her name was Apple. It was a great concept, food and sex in a one stop shop. But about 8 months later it was closed up.

    Sad thing I think about the Golden’s replacement is all those beautiful girls working in there and you can’t bar fine them….

  10. Tim

    I went to that bar for over 10 years and loved it. The last few times however all the girls were disinterested in chatting to customers, instead just playing with their phones!

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