Entertainment in Thailand, Two Different Live Music Venues, Places to play Pool

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Two Different Live Music Venues

One thing you have to say about Coliseum Brew Arena — it’s BIG. This place is set up to handle huge numbers of people with the design and layout creating a great venue for watching live stage acts while at the same time eating and drinking from the large international menu.

The interior is decorated with a mix of imitation stone and wood to give it a vaguely coliseum-type look. And the seating is on a number of different levels spread over the main floor and balcony, even offering loge-type seating on each side that is reminiscent of an opera house.

The brewery part of the operation is still being finalized so there’s no microbrewed beer yet but it will be coming soon. In the meantime you can drink Heineken or Amstel or order from the large drinks menu or select a bottle of wine from the extensive wine list.

Four different Thai bands perform nightly, starting at 7 PM, playing mostly western pop songs along with some Thai pop as well. The large stage provides plenty of room for the entertainers and is elevated enough to give every seat in the house a good view.

The menu, as noted, is quite large and contains Thai, Chinese, Japanese (with sushi and sashimi) and some western dishes also such as pastas, steaks and salads. Prices are quite reasonable with most main dishes from 90-200 baht. They even have their own bakery here for breads and desserts.

This is definitely a place to try when you’re visiting Bangkok if you want to get a good idea of where the locals go to have a good time and party.

Now let’s go to a completely different type of venue that’s located in the heart of the tourist entertainment area on Patpong Road. Radio City is the place and it’s been around for a number of years offering both tourists and locals a place to go to hear Golden Oldies performed live.

There are a number of attractions here in this intimate club that rocks seven nights a week with sounds from the 50s to the 70s. First, there’s the regular house band, The President Band, that plays a set on their own and then backs up the featured vocalists for the evening. They concentrate mostly on 50s-era rock songs like “La Bamba” and “Rock Around The Clock” as well as softer material like “Country Road.’

Next comes Vocalist Kevin Wood (Tues-Sat) at 10:15 for a blistering 30-minute set that features rock and R&B classics like “Back In The USSR,” “Mustang Sally” and “Gimme Some Loving.” Kevin’s a high-energy performer who’s been singing for over 25 years and his professionalism and stage presence are enough to get the crowd excited and involved in the show.

Then comes, for some people, the highlights of the show as first Elvis and then Tom Jones grace the stage for guest appearances. If you’ve never seen Thai impersonators do these two legends, then you’re in for a treat, one that’s definitely part of “Amazing Thailand.” They each do about a 30-minute set that includes some of the greatest hits from each of these performers’ careers and always generate a good amount of crowd response.

It’s really the atmosphere more than anything that is responsible for the good time people have here. The stucco-like walls and wrought-iron railings give the place a sort of Spanish look to it that really has nothing to do with the overall theme here and only add to the quirkiness of the place and the general appeal. And you’ll find a real interesting mix of people too, with local expats, tourists and Thais all blending together to make this one of the more eclectic audiences in the city and one that is also friendly and accommodating.

Where It's Cool To Play Pool

The Sukhumvit area of Bangkok has no shortage of good places to play pool so if you’d like to shoot a few games while you’re here, this article will give you the details on seven of the best places to play: The Brunswick, Woodstock, Bamboo Bar, New Wave Beer Bar, Big Boy, Larry’s Dive and Flyers.

The Brunswick (see listing on page 40) on Sukhumvit Soi 4 probably has the best quality tables of the six places we’re writing about here. As the name implies, the tables are Brunswick, imported from the U.S., as are the balls and the cues are all Top Gun. There are six tables in all, two of them being the pro series size of 4.5x9 feet. The other four are only slightly smaller at Big Boy

There is plenty of room for the tables in this glass-enclosed space along with a large center bar and seating around the sides of the room. The cost is 20 baht per game but, unlike the other places in town, you can also pay 200 per hour for your own table. Otherwise, as at all of the other places, you have to keep winning to keep playing.

There’s a full bar and a complete food menu featuring, among other things, good burgers and chili as well as a great ribeye steak. There are a number of other American-style items and also some Thai dishes. The music is primarily rock and roll and there’s usually a pretty good crowd most nights, so go in early if you want to get in Brunswick.jpgplenty of playing time.

Just up the street in Nana Plaza you’ll find Woodstock, the first bar to have pool tables in the Sukhumvit area. This is mostly a bar/restaurant but there are two pool tables that are almost constantly in use at night. The music here is all rock and roll, played by a DJ, and the food is American, including good burgers, Tex-Mex, steaks and lots of hot sandwiches. They also have a well-stocked bar. The cost of a game here is 10 baht from noon until 4 pm and 20 baht for the rest of the night after. There’s also a bumper pool table and a foosball table here.

If you cross Sukhumvit Road from Soi 4 onto Soi 3 you’ll find the Bamboo Bar up on the right hand sLarry\'sDivePool.jpgide a few hundred meters. This is a good-sized place with eight tables and a large center bar. There’s a full menu of Thai and western food and opening time is 10 am. Every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday local favorites The Fox Band play their versions of classic rock hits. Otherwise there’s rock on the stereo. Usually there’s also a large contingent of Thai women here who are playing pool and generally hanging out, so there’s no problem in finding suitable partners for playing if you’re on your own.

The same can be said of the New Wave Beer Bar which is located a couple of sois over on Soi 7. There are five tables here along with a full bar and rock music on the stereo. There’s no food in the bar itself but there’s a large food court right next to it which has a number of different outlets selling a variety of Thai and international food. The price here is also 20 baht per game.

Head down Sukhumvit Road on the same side of the street as Soi 7 and you’ll come to Ambassador Plaza just past Soi 11 and before Soi 13. Right in the front is Big Boy, an open-air place that features six American tables. It’s cool inside, however, and there’s a full bar and international food menu as well as some Thai dishes. They also have some good steaks and serve hamburgers as well. Snacks and salads are also available in this art deco-designed place and there’s plenty of female companionship here as well.

A relatively new place is Flyers, further down Sukhum-vit Road on the corner of Soi 22. Like the Brunswick it’s glass-walled but has two tables downstairs and two upstairs. There’s music on Thursday and either Friday or Saturday nights and a large-screen TV upstairs for sporting events. There’s a small international and Thai food menu also.

Last but not least is Larry’s Dive, just down Soi 22 from Flyers on the other side of the street. Larry’s has a comfortable feel and is more like a California-style surf bar complete with palm trees, surf boards and beach murals. There’s only one table here but it’s usually easy to get a game. They also have a couple of pinball games.

The food is American and also covers a wide range of styles including burgers, steak, sandwiches and a few things like lasagna, broiled fish and some stews. There’s a theme here also, with Larry (a fictitious character) as the owner who publishes a regular newspaper that doubles as the menu and contains some humorous articles.

The music here is also rock, although it’s much more carefully programmed than any of the other places in this article. They claim to have the best alternative rock in the country and they just might be right. Occasionally there’s a live band on one of the weekend nights just for some variety. Twenty baht is also the price for a game here.