The buzz: It’s getting harder to find an Ekkamai bar that’s not doing molecular mixology and requiring you to dress up like it’s Oscar night. Owl School offers something that’s become rare in this city: a proper laidback Thai bar atmosphere. The tagline, “Keep your yesterdays,” stems from the founders’ joy of getting all nostalgic over rounds of drinks, and the result is an old-school bar with loads of childhood reminders. It’s all about coming as you are and gathering in groups to talk and laugh loudly over a backing track of classic sing-along tunes. The bar’s sleeping owl logo also recalls that of Hitachino Nest Beer, so it’s just as well the place has also jumped on the craft beer trend.
The décor: This deep, narrow room has a welcoming allure thanks to its basic decoration, just like you’d find at the house of a friend who takes no advice from an interior designer. There’s a naked brick wall to one side where slightly wonky hardwood shelves hold liquor bottles and a whole jumble of owl-related paraphernalia. On the opposite wall, framed knick-knacks like a toy gun and a Gameboy add some childhood nostalgia to the place. The endearing slipshod vibe is also evident in the wooden furniture, which consist of various wooden garden benches with pillows and some crates, sat on bare concrete tiles. The party continues outside with a six-inch stage for live music.
The music: Thai old-school pop—think 2 Days Ago Kids’ hits “Nid Neung Por” and “Mhok Reu Kwan.” On happening nights the playlist can hop from Oasis and The Beatles to Mos & Tata.
The crowd: While things get a bit more vibrant on Fri and Sat, the crowd is mostly Thais looking to chill out, from first jobbers who just got off work to packs of friends looking to chat long into the night.
The menu: Fittingly for a so-called “owl school,” drinks include Hitachino Nest Beer, available on the tap (B220, pint) and in bottles of Nest White Ale, Welzen (B220), Red Rice Ale (B240) and Espresso Stout (B240). Standard beers are Singha (mid B120), Leo (big B120), while whiskey ranges from 100 Pipers (B650) to Johnnie Walker Black Label (B1,890) with mixers (B30). Signature cocktails include Owl My God (two on-fire shots, B190) and Keep Flying (rum, tequila, gin, vodka, whiskey and fresh lime juice, topped up with cola, B190). It can’t be a proper Thai-style bar without gab glaem like fried chicken tendon (B120) and boiled pork with lime and chili sauce (B120). The local flavor extends to spicy, herby dishes like gung chae namplar (shrimp in fish sauce, B130), tom sab kradook mhoo (young bone spicy hot pot, B180) and deep fried snapper with Thai herb (B250).
Why you’ll come back: If you’re tired of getting all dressed up, and all the sommelier and mixologist hot air currently being expended, you’ll enjoy the no-frills throwback of Owl School. Craft beer on tap is a big plus, too.
|Address:||Owlschool Bar, 360 Ekkamai Soi 21-22, Bangkok,|
|Open since:||May, 2013|
|Opening hours:||Wed-Sun 6pm-2am; Mon 6pm-2am|
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