Play Yard by Studio Bar
The buzz: After the long-standing Budda Bar moved to a new location in front of Lad Phrao Soi 8, a new crew took over the old venue and revamped it as yet another homey bar and restaurant—but one promising high quality live music, with a different theme each day.
The décor: It’s still the same old house, just with a colorful retro refit. The main indoor space is packed with couches facing a sizable stage, with Power Ranger and Gundam models, fixed gear bikes and other cute curios also littering the room. The outdoor terrace is dominated by wooden seating and a 2-meter wide pool (home to the owner’s favorite pets, two huge arapaimas, tropical freshwater fish). There are also huge projector screens for watching all the football action, so the overall vibe of the place is not unlike that of visiting one of your cool male friends’ houses on the weekend.
The music: There’s live music every day, with Mon dedicated to bands performing both Thai and international retro hits from the 60s-90s. Tue is a regular acoustic covers night, while Wed mixes it up with funk, pop and a little soul courtesy of the Makhampom Band. Thu is especially for rock fans, with an emphasis on American hard rock with some British rock classics for good measure. Fri and Sat see line-ups of three bands, typically starting with some soft acoustic, pop or jazz before building up to upbeat pop-rock and then straight-up rock. Naturally, Sun is left for laidback folk tunes.
The crowd: Young first jobbers living or working around the area and old Budda Bar customers returning for the similar vibe.
The price: Heineken is the only draught beer available for now (B599/B219 per tower/jug). Bottled beers start from B95 for Leo and Chang Export, and B110-120 for Singha, Heineken and Tiger. Whiskey ranges from Sangsom (B250/450) to Black Label (B1,390) and mixers are just B30 each. Frozen cocktails like Kamikaze are also available at B189/pitcher. As for food, they’ve got chef Nong, formerly of The Westin Grand Sukhumvit, putting together creative (and fiery) fare like the tom yam chowder with whipped cream (B130-150), 2499 Gangster Spicy Salad (B140-160), spicy Cuban pork (B130), spicy Zidane (fried egg salad, B90), fried Ronaldo (chicken wings, B120) and the highly recommended fried crispy pork belly (B120).
Why you’ll come back: It’s always nice to find a new chill bar that takes music (and football) seriously. Even if you don’t live around the Lad Phrao area, the nightly concerts are a nice way to spend your evening. Or if music’s not your thing, the outdoor terrace is spot on for kicking back with some spicy gab glaem and a few drinks. Vasachol Quadri