The Spanish partners who bought and gutted Whiskey & Go-Go in Nana Plaza now have bought Rainbow 69.
Despite being new to the Thailand go-go game, the two Spaniards have jumped into the scene with both feet. Taking on two small and troubled locations as first challenges.
Serious renovation is now underway at Whiskey. Power saws screech throughout the day at the Plaza, where the construction cacophony is complemented by the same work going on at Lace Lounge and a new Tee-owned space.
Whiskey No More
The concrete stage at Whiskey is gone, but a similarly shaped but lower stage, being built. The wood frame is in place. Likewise, all the seating has been pulled and two new rows of stadium seating is being constructed in wood. Sawdust is thick as snow everywhere on the middle floor of the Soi 4 complex.
Some unknowledgeable sources pontificated baselessly that the work would be done in 10 days. Not a chance.
Stickman Bangkok this week reported that the Spaniards, who speak very little-to-no English, were planning to turn the go-go spot into a “high-end whiskey bar”, a notion that had other plaza bar owners laughing out loud.
Whiskey & Go-Go began life in 2020 as just that: A go-Go focusing on high-end spirits. The prices were ridiculous and no one bought them. That marked the first step downhill for Whiskey, which was sold last month to the Spanish pair for far less than owners hoped.
Stickman was more polite than the bar owners, all of whom either tried or knew someone who tired – and failed – with the same concept over the past 20+ years.
“Shoot me for being negative but Team Spain is said to be new to the go-go bar business. I’m all for innovation and I wish them well, but don’t go trying to reinvent the wheel,” Stickman wrote.
Over the Rainbow 69
No such renovations or change of business concept is planned initially for Rainbow 69, which “Team Spain” bought from Tee, Nana’s biggest bar owner and the man behind the new bar under construction in a top-floor short-time hotel.
One partner told another manager they just planned to keep things as it is and “see how it goes”. Not well is the first thing that comes to mind.
Rainbow 69 – the former Casanova ladyboy bar – is tiny. It’s so small, you have to go outside to change your mind. It’s so small, there’s no place for the Thais to put all their paper cups, meal bowls and other crap, so it’s piled up on a table right as you enter the bar.
(The same thing happens at the much-larger Bunny 2, something former owner Marc would never have tolerated while it was Blondie. But Thai-run bars never care about aesthetics.)
The upside of a small bar is that it only takes a few people to make it look full. The rent is lower and fewer staff means smaller salary bills. The downside is that it’s impossible to do the volumes to make any real profit, if there’s any profit at all.
If Tee, who rents a third of the Plaza now, didn’t want it, that should have been a warning sign.