Phnom Penh Pub Page – June 2014

This month’s Pub Page almost became a restaurant review or a movie review or a “I am too lazy to type anything but the letter ‘a’ page; I am not certain if the Evil Publisher’s small heart grew three sizes that day, if the ghost of Christmas future had visited him or if he just had a brain fart – but he paid me in advance for this article – there goes the last vestiges of motivation or quality control J But then I ran into the Hunchback sipping tea with some New York banker type at Sharky Bar and he somehow convinced me to get my ass onto a few bar stools and pretend that being surrounded by pretty girls is somehow a motivating factor in my life – actually he just threatened to throw me down the stairs and break open the mostly unscarred side of my face but I am not supposed to talk about that.

So what happened this month – a lot of parties – and I went to none of them – I even got invited to a couple but could not be arsed – love those cash advances – by the way SKIRTS. Some news to start with I guess – ho hum…. Candy Bar closed – and reopened in another confusing 136 st episode up there with 136 Bar moving to 130 st . Candy which had originally been located 2 stores over before taking over the old Huxley’s space, has now moved back to its old digs and seemingly vaporized Swinger bar. I understand the staff has been distributed amongst the 136 st conglomerate’s other establishments. Good luck tracking down your favourites. I wonder if we will get another hostess bar in that space.

Swiss Cam Food – in Golden Sorya Mall – seems to have expanded – I guess they got tired of people walking through other bars and stopping before they could get all the way to Swiss so they now have taken over another stall with street access and added it to their collection of units.

Vixen Bar on 104 st has changed hands – it is now owned by an ex cashier out of Zanzibar – great tunes, new management was friendly – no substantive changes that I noticed except to the staff – I will give it another try.

While not directly bar related, I think I have to mention the passing of Chuck Norris Dim Sum – the coolest dim sum place in the world has left the building – I can only assume the local hot dog carts took Chuck down so they could regain my early morning drunken munchies business.

In terms of bars, given that I had already been paid, I just lazily wandered by some hostess bars this month. My tour started with DV8 Bar. I had not been there for a while and will probably give it a pass for a bit longer – the place was basically empty when I arrived and the over eager bar staff just cranked me the wrong way. Don’t get me wrong, it is good to see the staff eagerly trying to entertain a customer and get some business but the cacophony drove me out without even finishing my drink – even the bartender apologized. I was surrounded by hostesses who each took turns asking the same question or confirming the answers I had just given. After about 5 rounds of this I gave up.

That does not win for the oddest experience of the night – I went to the enticingly named Same Same No Different Bar – I mean how can you resist an establishment that promises you absolutely no reason to go there as opposed to its competitors. Well it turns out there is a difference – perhaps the absolute dumbest question I have ever been asked as an opening line in a hostess bar “Do you speak Thai” – really – the first thing after the staff member got my order was that? I thought perhaps I was drunker than I had any right to be and was either mumbling in tongues or had shifted countries when I only meant to change streets. I figured it would only get worse from there so I left. Strike two – I think I need to head down to Martini and forget all this hard work.

How to fill the rest of the Pub Page this month???? Ok – the laziest possible thing would be a montage but difficult to really get the drunken blurry lens effect on paper – instead a quick round up – Rose Bar/Calvary Bar – getting pretty pricey and still REALLY loud – but both had friendly and helpful staff and quite large numbers of them. Pretty Woman – definitely a well deserved name – and certainly more alluring than “Broken Air Con Bar’ which would have been equally well deserved. Oasis – not sure what is happening over there but it has been packed the few times I have tried to go in lately – as in almost every seat taken – surprisingly un-rowdy (yes I know that is not a word but I don’t want to bother thinking of a real one). 104 Bar – alternates between being completely dead or completely swamped – still a lot of fun (most of the time). Starlight – on 110 st – had not been in here ages – seems to have a good regular group of customers enjoying themselves (they are quite noisy) – will have to put this on the rotation.

That is about it – motivation has expired – even the Hunchback could not get any more investigative reporting out of me this month.