Nov 06 2011
Phnom Penh is probably home to more Western-orientated bars than foreigners, but most of them seem to believe that all Westerners want to hear is Top 40 from three years ago. You can’t walk down one of the busy bar streets without hearing the strains of Lady Gaga or Rhianna, but where should you go if you don’t want to party like a G6?
A few bars in town pride themselves on only playing rock and metal. Here they are:
Many in town just refer to Zeppelin as “rock bar” and it’s as close to a local institution as the Phnom Penh bar scene has. The Taiwanese owner, Jun, is a metal nut, and his huge collection of records can attest to that. One of, if not the only place in town that plays vinyl, you’ll hear lots of older metal in Zeppelin, and Jun, who DJs all night, takes requests. Zeppelin also has the distinction of being one of the only non-girly bars on Street 51 and they stay open quite late most nights. And although it’s not a full restaurant, regulars rave about the food, especially the pork and leek dumplings for $1.50.
9C Street 51, Phnom Penh
T: (012) 881 181
Garage is a laid-back bar just off the riverside that is most known for its incredible collection of tunes — they bill themselves as Phnom Penh’s premier music bar, and with a collection of 200,000 tracks on their system and a Spotify account that can stream another 10 million, I’m not inclined to disagree. They’ll let you make requests but keep it classic — you’re not going to hear any teenybopper pop in here. Their Facebook page says it best: No James Blunt. No “My Humps.” Ever. You’ll find it by the neon Velvet Underground banana outside.
9Eo St 110, Phnom Penh
T: (012) 754 763
Lone Brothers Bar
Just opened in October, the Lone Brothers Bar is affiliated with the Lone Brothers Motorcycle Club and the bar of the same name in Sihanoukville. Inside they’ve got a flat screen TV (playing horror movies when I stopped in) and outside a large table good for socialising. Run by a German biker, they play mostly classic rock and have cheap beer and a laid-back vibe. It is, however, a girly bar, but the girls aren’t particularly pushy.
Corner of St 51 and 174, Phnom Penh
T: (011) 579 574
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