t seems like the climate of Patpong is in such a state of flux that by the time a blog is published on it, the scene has already changed. That’s a good description of the speed at which The Strip’s pendulum of fortune has swung over the past few months. For the last week, the stage of that little gem has been packed end-to-end with hot girls, a welcome change from a month ago when they struggled to put 2 or 3 average lookers on display per night.
I was in there on Friday with Toby BK and even he agreed things were looking up. We surmised that, if the owners got smart and brought back the Belgian craft beers they used to serve—Witte, Palm, and Kwak—The Srip would certainly return to its former glory. The customers would come back to find again what they’d been missing for so long—The motherf*king STRIP, bitchezzz! Hell yeahhh!!!
If it sounds like I’m excited, it’s because I am. All of us who used to love the place did so with a special affection. The Strip had something—a Je ne sais quoi—no that’s not right. That implies I don’t know what it had. And also that I speak French, which I don’t. I know exactly what it was about this lovely bar that set it apart from all the others. When you were there, you felt welcome. The staff seemed like old friends. You could have food delivered. The beers were special. The girls were special. The mood was warm and fun and a little bit crazy. You never knew when a girl would go topless or strip (apropos) down to her undies. The collective mood of some gogo bars can be off-putting. They can be cold, alien, and (believe it or not) sterile. The Strip had always been the opposite. The place was rife with sirens, beckoning all comers to sidle in, pull a curtain round a booth, and shipwreck their wallets on the girls’ silky shores. Watching it fall out of favor—both with dancers and with punters—was heartbreaking to watch. But just in the last week, things have begun to turn again.
A video of a night out filmed in an expat area of Bangkok known as Patpong. Popular bars The Strip Bada Bing, Kiss Bar, Kings Castle
What caused the change? Was it some ingenious planning by the owners? Nope. Was it a new crop of girls from the countryside? No sir. Did a wizard wave his magic wand? Not as far as I know, I’m not into that. No, salvation came by way of kismet. The Strip has been saved by—of all things—the closing of Electric Blue.
When EB announced earlier this year that it would be transitioning into The Steakhouse, the gogo dancers that had called the place home for years and years scrambled to find a new pole on which to park their perky posteriors. Some went to Shark (which has since closed its doors in order to transform into Shenanigans, an Irish sports bar) while others drifted to Pink Panther and Bangkok Bunnies and Butterflies, both in Nana. One lovely lass, Belle, even relocated to Pattaya (miss you, Belle!). But either habit, or boredom, or some giant invisible magnet eventually drew them all back to Patpong. Except Belle (come back, Belle!). And like a lifeguard at the beach, they resuscitated The Strip as it was drowning, and brought it back to life. The only question now is, will they stick around long enough for word-of-mouth to bring the customers back? The girls spook easily, and while the bar is jammed with them right now, there aren’t drinkers to match. Nobody knows they’re here! If the clientele don’t come back soon, these pussycats might find another post to scratch.
If they do return, and if they like what they see, they will have me to partially thank. The ball got rolling on bringing back the Blue babes when one of the mamasans from EB took a job at The Strip, which at the time had barely any girls. She asked me if I’d reach out to my friends from EB, wherever they might’ve gone, and ask them to come work with her at the-little-bar-that-could. I said I’d try, but I didn’t honestly expect them to respond. I sent I think 3 Line messages. What I didn’t know is that a lot of the girls weren’t happy at their new digs. Bunnies, for example, has a girl-to-customer ratio of 5 to 1, which means competition for drinks is really high—too high for the average lazy gogo dancer. Anyway, the 3 girls I messaged told 3 of their friends who told a few others and poof! 15 former EB girls all showed up for work on a random Tuesday. I threw some pics and vids of it up on Twitter. It was a sight to behold—a Frankenstein’s monster of a gogo bar. EB girls surgically implanted onto the corpse of The Strip…..actually that’s too harsh. The Strip had some hotties before the EB clan arrived, but the new girls definitely brought some much needed vitality back to the place.
Now there are 2 rotations of girls—one of mostly Strip veterans, and one made up entirely of EB girls. One hopes it doesn’t turn into a Jets vs Sharks, Greasers vs Socs type of scenario where the girls compete or don’t get on with one another. Count on Seven to help build bridges between the 2 groups. I’ll be the peacemaker. It’ll be my Camp David moment—peace in the Southeast. But I can’t do it alone. The Strip needs you—the faithful expats, the barflies, the whoremongers—to come back. Recall those glory days of yore, when The Strip was the rockinest bar on the Pong. Believe in it again. Use the power of your will, your wet dreams, your willies, and your wallets. Help make The Strip Great Again. Bring back the dream.
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