The Wine Bar
The buzz: After the rebranded Wine Republic on the corner of Thonglor Soi 10 confirmed Bangkok’s wine craze had spread from the dining room to the bar, we knew to expect a host of copycats. The simply-named The Wine Bar, for example, just popped up further into Soi 10, directly opposite Arena 10. Yes, it’s very pretty. And yes, the wine is more a trendy theme rather than a genuine focus.
The décor: Brace yourself for all the clichés introduced to Bangkok by Casa Pagoda a few years back, and now trickling into the mass market via SB’s Vintage Passion: Union Jack-printed sofas, a mix of country chic (garden seating on fake grass) and gentleman’s club paraphernalia (club chairs, a big wine rack).
The music: Two house bands with popsanova during the intermissions. The first offers easy-listening Thai-inter pop covers. While the second band gets a little louder with Thai pop-rock (Bodyslam and Paradox). Not exactly an original for a club in Bangkok, but at least they have a rocking sound system.
The crowd: A young, fairly wealthy crowd looking for a place to chat all night long.
The price: Red wine starts from B850-8,500 and white wine B890-4,790 with choices of Amarone della Valpolicella Classico (B8,500) and La Carraia Sancioverse 2008 (B850); Champagne ranges from Moet Chandon Brut (B4,900) to Moet don Terignon (B12,000); sparkling wine from Follador Prosecco Silver Extra Dry (B1,390) to Vino poeti Bottega Gold (B3,490), all by the bottle. Whiskey here is slightly more expensive than usual, with Johnny Walker Red Label at B1,500. Local beers start from B110 by the bottle, Hoegaarden is the only draught (B140/220 for half/pint) and Ketel One signature cocktails are B280. They do drink-friendly side-dishes like fried chicken wings (B150) and spinach spring rolls (B120) and also some mains like spaghetti meat sauce (B220) and spicy somen (Japanese noodle) with beef (B185).
Why you’ll come back: Pre-party warm-up or after-work chilling are all fine here. But the gigantic screen for weekend soccer and pedestrian play list mean the indie kids will probably steer clear. Vasachol Quadri