Fab beers, great music, fun people
Most Bangkokians immediately assume that you’re talking about the massive nightclubs of RCA when mentioning nightlife in the Phra Ram 9 area. Follow an overpass in the opposite direction and you’ll find a far more intimate sort of nightspot at Fatty’s Bar and Diner, an unlikely mainstay in the city’s craft beer and independent music scene.
A welcoming little bar drawing Bangkok-based beer and rock music enthusiasts, Fatty’s was conjured up in 2012 by a Wisconsin native and his Thai buddy. Along with their small staff and dedicated group of regulars, Matt and Guru have created a non-pretentious space serving fish and chips, wings, Reuben sandwiches and other classic pub fare. The Swiss cheese and mushroom burger was probably the best we’ve found in Bangkok to date. Expect to pay around 400 baht for a good feed with a couple of craft brews.
Vintage Star Wars posters, beer labels and paintings that seem to blend modern Japanese animation with 1970s American soul music punctuate high ceilings, a few tables and a tiny bar. Expats and Thais flock here for open mic nights on Tuesdays, and when live bands perform on most weekend nights. There’s no stage and space is limited; dancers rub shoulders with the guitar slingers. At other times the sound system pumps classics from the likes of Black Sabbath and Jimi Hendrix, nailing the soundtrack for a gritty yet inspired space.
While the food and music are great, many trudge down this not-so-charming street specifically for the beer -- and to chat up people who are passionate about it. Terrific and hard-to-find craft imports include four varieties from Wired Brewing in New Zealand, for example, though nowadays the Thai craft brew scene gets much of the attention.
We sampled a refreshing local wheat beer with notes of kaffir lime called Sandport Crazy Horse, poured from a single tap. Another favourite is a hoppy IPA produced by Outlaw Brewing, a small outfit run by a Canadian up in Loei province. Guru sat down with us to impart some of his wisdom on Thailand’s nascent craft beer scene, which he also shares through a Facebook page and soon-to-be website, we were told, called Monday Brews.
Fatty’s is not the easiest place in Bangkok to find but it’s absolutely worth the trip if you’re into great beer and music. From Phra Ram 9 MRT station, leave through Exit 1 and walk straight south before turning right (west), following under the over pass along Asoke Din Daeng Rd. Keep walking and you’ll find Fatty’s on the right after about a half-kilometre. Why open a bar next to an overpass in an out-of-the-way location? So you can play those drums as loud as you want, of course!
Address: 598/66 Asoke Din Daeng Rd, Bangkok
T: (081) 438 7221, (02) 245 2965
Coordinates (for GPS): 100º33'31.35" E, 13º45'24.8" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
David Luekens first came to Thailand in 2005 when Thai friends from his former home of Burlington, Vermont led him on a life-changing trip. Based in Thailand since 2011, he spends much of his time eating in Bangkok street markets and island hopping the Andaman Sea.
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