The buzz: It seems Bangkok’s nightlife is still enamored with all things retro, particularly if bare brick and black cast iron are involved. Apoteka is the latest such venue. Specifically, it’s going for a 19th century apothecary décor, which translates into lots of old-looking glass bottles on display throughout. The theme also influences the cocktail list (called “antidotes”) where you’ll find drinks with names like Penicilin and Mr. Hyde.
The décor: On top of the early industrial décor, the space is filled with suitably opulent and vintage-inspired furniture upholstered in pleather. And despite the air-con, they keep the façade’s French windows open so that you won’t feel like you’re missing out on this winter’s outdoor drinking.
The music: They call it “unpretentious,” we call it uninspired. Get a decent DJ in there fast.
The drinks: There are a half-dozen beers here to actually get excited about, a new and long-overdue trend that’s finally picking up in the city’s bars. Go for the Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar (B270), an Anderson Valley Boont Amber Ale (B270) or a simple Vedett White Beer (B200). As mentioned, the cocktails (B230) are slightly medicinal in their inspiration, which means they use ingredients like pepper, nutmeg and aniseed liqueur. But you can just get a frozen daiquiri (B230) or even a bottle of spirits (B2,300-B2,500).
The crowd: The place had just opened when we popped in but we saw a nice mix of professionals, many of them expats, who you might bump into at nearby venues like Oskar and Bed Supperclub. As always in Soi 11, Apoteka’s ability to keep the riffraff out could make or break it’s success. Gregoire Glachant