Life after Sudden Death for Bangkok Nighterie
Thursday, July 07, 2011
Following the abrupt closure of @Richard’s in Silom, the self-styled “pub and restaurant” has been resurrected in the same location under an equally eccentric name, @Diamond. Tucked away in Silom Soi 2/1, this intimate venue has had a fresh lick of paint and is under new management. Ned joined a throng of Thai and western well-wishers at the reopening on Wednesday [6 July], and a very jolly night it proved.
A 50-inch TV has been installed, and sofas are promised for the upstairs area, but much else about the place is familiar. The opening times [6 till late daily] and very reasonable drinks prices are the same as before, as is the duration of Happy Hour [6 to 8 pm].
The new boss, “Bird”, explained that the wide-ranging @Richard’s food menu will be served for the first few days, then replaced by a revised version. The good news for those of us who like broad smiles on handsome faces is that our food is likely to be served by one of the waiters from @Richard’s. Most have stayed on under the new regime.
For many of its regulars – both residents of Bangkok and frequent visitors – @Richard’s was the closest the city came to a “Cheers”-style hostelry or British “local”. Well, the jokes may not always have hit the heights of “Cheers”, but the music was never too loud, the service was seldom pushy, and someone you didn’t mind talking to was usually propping up the bar.
“Coming to @Richard’s was like slipping into an old glove” declared one veteran tippler on Wednesday. “Tonight, the atmosphere seems just the same.”
He had been worried by the appearance of the TV, fearing an onslaught of MTV and noisy action movies. But “Bird” insisted that the volume would be kept low, and sports programmes would usually be shown. Still cherishing happy memories of Rafa and Djoko’s sinewy exertions at Wimbledon, the customer was instantly reassured.
Ned’s most eager enquiry concerned the healthy discount on their bills provided to holders of @Richard’s VIP cards. “Bird” pledges that the discount will continue to be applied in the new era of @Diamond… and that should make another visit worthwhile, even if the sofas never arrive.