The shutters went up at the central Walking Street bar earlier this month.
But now the bar has made an interesting return to the variety of Walking Street.
There were half a dozen dancing boys lined up in front of the bar. They were kitted out along the lines of a gay bar. But perhaps they were targeting the many lady visitors wandering by. I didn't stop to ask.
Thursday Night was the first night that new bar zoning regulations around Pattaya came into force which permits bars in some unspecified areas to legally open until 3am.
Provincial Police from Chonburi headquarters along with Pattaya Police conducted extensive spot checks on bars in the South Pattaya area including Walking Street just after 3am to ensure that the venues were complying with the new regulations.
Outside of the main zone, bars are permitted to open until 2am.
At a meeting between the Pattaya City administration and entertainment business owners, plans were discussed to apply to the Thai Police for a 24 hour entertainment zone during the coming high season.
Also under discussion were three rules to be implemented throughout the city's entertainment areas - no admission to those under age 18, a stricter control on the use of drugs, and a ban on the possession of weapons. These issues needed to be
addressed prior to the possible implementation of a Zoning Pattaya Model allowing entertainment venues to stay open for 24 hours, as opposed to the present arrangement – a Hot Spot or Red zone with 3:00 am closing, and the
remaining areas with 2:00 am.
In the very near future, officials will cooperate with entertainment business owners to apply for licenses from the Royal Thai Police to allow the Pattaya entertainment zone to open 24 hours during the high season.
Fahrenheit A-GoGo has just opened on the landward side of Walking Street, a couple of doors away from Soi 15.
I visited on a very busy Friday night and the bar seemed pretty packed with customers.
The bar is smaller on the inside than perhaps you would expect from the outside. There is comfortable bench seating around the sides of the bar and stools at stage side. And for future expansion there is an upstairs area not in use on my visit.
There is a narrowish central stage running the length of the bar and it had plenty of decent looking dancers amongst the 15 on stage. 12 out of the 15 were bikini clad but 3 girls at the front were baring all, perhaps they were show girls.
At a change of shift all of the dancers departed the stage and were replaced by another team. So plenty of girls on hand.
Several girls were entertaining customers so it looks quite a friendly place too.
I found it a rather manic atmosphere lots of girls milling round being shooed out of seats as customers were piling in.
Actually at a toilet break I realised that the bar was not as crowded as it first appeared as the bank end of the bar was deserted. There were a couple of reasons for this, all of the naked girls were strictly pinned to the front end of the
stage, no doubt to give a good impressions as customers stepped through the door. Views from the back end of the bar were strictly bikini clad.
Also the stage side seating seems to block the passage ways a bit (like Iron) so it is a little bothersome to push past everyone to the seats at the back.
The drinks prices are in the reasonable range for a lively bar and there is the traditional cheap draft.
Anyway the bar has worked up quite a lively atmosphere in a relatively short space of time so all bodes well.
Walking Street was jam packed on Friday night so one can confidently say that high season is with us.
And to take advantage of the seasonal crowds we have a few new bars set to open and re-open.
First A-GoGo on Soi 8 has now announced a re-opening on 27th November. It tried briefly as a sports bar in September but presumably that didn't pan out.
Another ex GoGo making a come back is Betty Boum on Soi Pattayaland 1 (Soi 13/3). This time it will open as a bar and club.
Redlite Club is taking shape on Walking Street opposite Soho Sqaure. Only the entrance is on show so hard to see what it will be as yet but the banners proclaim a Private Club. Back where I come from, a Private club is a tag for a brothel where
customers don't get to see or meet other customers. They make the choice from a private parade of girls rather than from a communal bar area. Anyway it sounds interesting.
There's also some sort of what looks like an Insomnia clone club taking shape a few doors away.
There is also a new club opening on the first floor above the Nok beer bar complex towards the Beach Road end of Walking Street. Maybe a coyote bar.
There is still Alcatraz A-GoGo that won't be too long opening on Walking Street by Soi 15.
And Paris A-GoGo on Soi Diamond has now changed name and neon to Atlantis A-GoGo. They have also introduced stage shows, but perhaps early days, as reports have been somewhat underwhelming.
Champagne A-GoGo is the latest victim of police raids
An after-midnight set up. caught a number of sex workers engaged in sexual acts or soliciting in Champagne A go-go bar.
The raid was organised with the co-operation of a staff member. Several sex workers at the bar were caught in flagrante dilecto in a four-person swing session.
A taskforce of 30 officers was organised by the Immigration Police. A collaborating female staff member took one of the undercover officers up to the second floor while the rest waited outside.
After a short time, police moved in and apprehended the two 18-year-old women tasked with attracting customers into the bar. Going inside, police found a solitary pole dancer wearing a bikini. On the first floor, in Room 1, the undercover officer
was found with Miss Suthanee Buksunthia who was wearing only a towel. In Room 4, however, a party of four were found to be engaged in sexual activities, three naked women and a foreign man. The entire staff of the establishment were then taken
down to the Immigration Office for interrogation, included the bar manager Miss Suriya Ngimkhunthod.
Later, Miss Ngimkhunthod was charged with managing an establishment providing prostitution. Miss Buksunthia was charged with prostitution, and another 13 women staff were charged with soliciting. All suspects were then transferred to Pattaya
Police Station for further judicial procedure.
It is not clear why Immigration police were involved as all the women were Thai nationals.
There's more to last week's one-day shutdown at the Carousel go-go than merely police flexing their muscles at a newly reopened venue. There was a specific purpose behind the visit and a devastating result for the fledgling operation.
The reason? many girls weren't legit. Perhaps underage, perhaps from Laos or Cambodia. For whatever reason, the girls were sent packing, leaving management scrambling for talent.
Carousel is now on life support. A visit prime-time visit this week found just three girls on stage and none in the tub. The mamasan, previously from Sapphire Club tried to pin the low turnaround on stage on a high number of barfines. But a
more-reliable source inside the bar said otherwise.
Lowering the price of its tiny spirits from 130 to something more realistic might be a good start at restoring bums to seats whilst new talent is located.
The ongoing 2 a.m. crackdown by Crime Suppression Division police at the national Royal Thai Police based in Bangkok is not expected to be ongoing for much longer. All reports indicate the crackdown — one Walking Street suffers pretty much
every year at this time — is supposed to last only a week. Already some places such as Peppermint are making it to 3 a.m.
That doesn't mean people are content to ride it out, however.
The Walking Street mamasan union -- the informal club of witches and bitches that forever cycle around The Street's chrome pole palaces — has gotten a bit more organized, with the headmistresses at Iron Club starting a petition
to submit to Pattaya Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome demanding the city develop a backbone and put an end to the Bangkok Cops' nonsense.
It's not your typical petition, however, as the girls under the mamasans employ don't actually sign it themselves. The old battleaxes are simply generating a roster of all the girls who work them, then pass on the list to the next bar, where the
mama there lists her girls.
It should be a considerable list once complete. Imagine the value such a roster of Walking Steet go-go girls would have on eBay. Add some photos and phone numbers and the mamasans could make more selling copies than they're supposedly losing
during the crackdown.
On a more-serious, note, however, the biggest loser in the late-night shut down is undoubtedly Insomnia, which will lose more than a million baht in revenue for every week the shutdown continues. Fortunately for the disco's owners, they're new
Bangkok location has reportedly taken over the after-hours scene in the capital.
It boggles the mind how the Bangkok-based cops can come down to Pattaya to enforce closing times while ignoring the same offenses right in their backyard.
Pattaya at Night has reported that Motoroom on Walking Street failed as a coyote bar not long after opening. It was located above King's Cafe.
Also reported closed was Performance Bar, a beer bar on central Walking Street.
Further afield First's Lounge failed to get any customer interest for its rather daunting location at the back of a beer bar complex on Soi 8.
Also out on a limb was the Venus Lounge near the junction of 3rd Road and Pattaya Klang. It was a nicely done out short time bar but charged a little over the odds for a little over the hill female company.
There have been a couple of bar closures on Soi Post Office. The long running DeStar bar was dark at my last walk past as was the rather newer Charming Bar next door.
Meanwhile the police are continuing to ensure the closure of many more bars albeit just for an early night at 2am. Actually the 2am lights on closure means that bars start to wind down quite a bit ahead of the official closing time. Also it
causes a bit of scrum for all bars to close at the same time and taxi users etc will drift away significantly earlier to avoid the rush. Customers generally seem reluctant to start drinking earlier so I guess that the early closing significantly
cuts into bar related incomes.
Police raided Lucifer's Disco on Wednesday night. The venue was cleared but no Pattaya news reporters on hand to explain why. Seems to be a short term hiccup though.
Police also decided to review the newly opened Carousel A-GoGo on Soi Diamond. They closed the venue after visiting on Thursday night. No information about why, but again hopefully a short term nuisance.
Update: Friday Night
The police continued their nightly hassle on Friday night by doing a general early closing time sweep of Walking Street. The arbitrarily enforced early closing was designated as 2am
Update: Saturday Night
The police continued their nightly hassle on Saturday night with another 2am early closing
The two new Walking Street GoGos seem to be making good progress. Fahrenheit is targeting Friday 12th November whilst Alcatraz looks set for a little bit later.
Meanwhile on Walking Street the Galaxy window has re-opened for East European dancers and for customers with cash to burn. So that puts the count of dancing bars up to 74, albeit including 3 with East European dancers that will never get a visit
from this particular reviewer.
There's also coyote dancing in a street window for Motoroom, next door to Moulin Rouge, but again it looks like a bar for someone else to investigate. Who knows, it may even be number 75.
Club Relaxxx has taken over at the ground floor venue in the Covent Garden Complex, Soi 16, that was previously Club Sin City.
The bar has undergone a rapid refit from Club Sin City A-GoGo to Middle Eastern night club and now back to A-GoGo.
There has been some refurbishment, notably to make better use of the previously unused space to the right when entering. Table dancing stages have been added in front of the new simple bench seating around the sides of the room. The bar now looks
much bigger and the tables improve on the concrete cavern impression that existed before.
The bar had managed to secure a rather large cast of dancers for the opening few days. Perhaps down to the familiar faces in the manager and mamasang roles.
The girls were of a good Walking Street average but it was very disappointing to see that the table dancers were dressed closer to coyote than GoGo. They were wearing light shorts and a top.
There is still a traditional central GoGo stage though with most of the girls in bikinis and one token dancer in her birthday suit.
There is also a badly placed Jacuzzi with naked girls but no stage side seating.
There was a cheap draft beer.
The overall impression was a much more lively affair than the previous incarnation.
I'm not sure why the management have picked up on the idea of half coyote half gogo. It has proved a failure several times, including in this very same venue when Club Taboo failed with the same formula.
Sin City is located on the ground floor of the Covent Garden Complex on Soi 16, a few paces off Walking Street.
Sin City is set to reappear as an A-GoGo on 6th November 2010. The mamasang on recruitment duty at the door said that it would be named Sin City A-GoGo, but a big new sign has appeared suggesting Club Relaxxx A-GoGo.
And in fact it has been confirmed that the new venue will be called Club Relaxxx.
Some renovations have taken place since it was last an A-GoGo.
Club Relaxxx duly opened raising Pattaya's GoGo count to 73
Another look at the newly re-opened Carousel A-GoGo
Carousel A-GoGo re-opened on Soi Diamond on 1st November 2010.
Checked out carousel last night. Vodka was 130 Baht, not 120 as previously noted.
Owner is not the Happy/Peppermint group, as previously reported, but actually owned Super Models way back when. The main mamasan (there are 4!) worked for that owner, who has been out of the gogo biz since Supermodels fell off the runway.
Another mamasan most recently of Misty's was there with about 4 girls brought from there.
They did a nice spruce up. Looks more modern. They need more girls, but the mamas know, and are working at it.