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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat KEVIN2008's Avatar
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    RIP Cheap Charlie's: Soi 11.

    RIP Cheap Charlie's: Chunk of Sukhumvit soi 11 reportedly sold to developers.



    Cheap Charlie's Bar.


    Nine months from now, Cheap Charlie’s, and a handful of other popular bars and restaurants on Sukhumvit Soi 11, will be closed to make room for real estate development.
    The owner of Cheap Charlie’s, beloved outdoor expat bar, has revealed that the one-rai parcel of land, where the bar has sat for 34 years, has been sold and the bar will be closed as of March 2017.

    Ekkachai Budkajang, 32, son and partner of the original owner, Satit Budkajang, learned about this sad development last month when he got a letter from the owner stating that his lease could not be renewed next year. The lease is up in March of 2017.

    Ekkachai said, “Yes, it’s true, the owner of the land has sold it.” The owner of the land is the owner of Suk 11 Hostel and Restaurant. Ekkachai believes that all of the businesses from Cheap Charlie’s down to Suk 11 Hostel and Restaurant are in the same position.

    The sale of the parcel opposite Villa Market is between the owners and, Ekkachai believes, Indian Capital Group along with some foreign investors. He’s heard that they plan to put up a hotel or condominium on the one-rai parcel. He believes the papers have already been signed and the land sold for THB2,000 million.

    Cheap Charlie’s isn’t the only business that patrons will have to bid adieu to. The small alley off the main road of Soi 11 is home to many popular bars and restaurants that sit on the sold parcel. Moghul Room, Stash bar, The Alchemist, Snapper New Zealand, Charley Brown’s, Tapas Cafe and, of course, Suk 11 Hostel and Restaurant as well as some tailors and other services that sit in the alley and directly on Soi 11, according to Ekkachai.



    When asked if he was upset about the sale, he said, “It’s big money. It’s like my father says, ‘Look around at this street, we always knew this day was coming.”
    Back when the bar opened, 34 years ago, the street was mostly tiny restaurants and massage parlors. Those still exist but, as the area has become a glitzier nightlife district, most have given way to big hotels, clubs and pricy rooftop bars.

    Ekkachai said that he will “look for a good place and right place” to possibly re-open the bar, but it would have to be outdoors and downtown to keep the same atmosphere. He’d also prefer to open in an area that’s popular with foreigners, since most of his clientele is non-Thai.

    “We would never open inside a room, it’s not us,” he said. “If we move to a new place, it might not be the same though, it’s very sad,” said Ekkachai.
    Cheap Charlie’s stands out on Sukhumvit soi 11. It’s an outdoor bar in an alley where you can show up in shorts and flip-flops, in the middle of a district of bars and clubs catering to more hi-so crowds.

    Ben Freeman, 35, is bar regular from Australia that goes every Thursday. He described it, with a laugh, as, “like going to ‘Cheers’...except no one knows your name.”
    The bar is made of very old wood and crazy decorations that look time and weather-ravaged. As they should, considering that the bar has withstood decades of hot sun and wet monsoons.

    When asked if they could relocate the bar itself, since it’s just placed on top of the concrete, Ekkachai said they could try but he’s not sure it would survive a relocation.
    The “Charlie” in the bar’s name comes from Satit’s brother, called Charlie, who had the idea for the bar and supplied many of its unusual decorations, including tribal statues and an electric toy train that runs above patrons heads. The rest of the decor is made up of gifts from customers over the years.

    Charlie moved to Bangkok from Saraburi and sold cigarettes on the street on Soi 11. He saw the empty space in the alley where Cheap Charlie’s now stands and envisioned a little outdoor bar, where he imagined the Thai people working nearby could gather for a drink after work.

    He didn’t have the money but shared the idea with his brother, Satit, who was working as a mechanic. Satit saved up some money and they opened the bar.
    Ekkachai has spent his whole life at the bar, it opened two years before he was born.
    “At first, it wasn’t popular, just two or three people came each night,” said Ekkachai. Eventually, it caught on with expats, which the owners never expected. In the last several years, the patrons of the bar have been 80 percent foreign and 20 percent Thai.
    American expat and Bangkok University professor Mark Shaw has been a regular at Cheap Charlie’s for over 15 years. He’s had countless good times at the humble little bar. “Now, I’ll be coming here to cry into my beer,” he said about the bar’s closing.
    features


    Closure of Cheap Charlie's, Bangkok
    Last edited by KEVIN2008; 23-11-2016 at 07:12 AM.

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat KEVIN2008's Avatar
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    My favourite place in BKK.... I always drop in when in town.... great bar, what a shame its closing after 34 years.

  3. #3
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    Ahh some memories, and some blank spaces after an evening there. As the owner said, it was always on borrowed time.

    Hope he finds a new location and makes something of it.

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat cyrille's Avatar
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    As I understood it the original owner was Satit's brother. I guess the pickled liver will be razed too - or has it already gone?

  5. #5
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    Used to have to meet wife#1 and her friends there - all teachers at the International School.

  6. #6
    Sukhumvet
    VocalNeal's Avatar
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    Gees that's old history. The whole block has been sold.

    So anyone who got their blood tests at the clinic at the back in the corner will have to go elsewhere.

    Let's hope that the BKK icon will pop up somewhere else. Check Inn 99 has reappeared.

  7. #7
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    the pickled liver moved a few years ago, its now at the end of the sleaziest walk of shame in bangkok, the cul de sac next to soi 7, home to the eden club, numerous suck shops, massage joints and short time hotels.

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  9. #9
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    David48atTD's Avatar
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    While I appreciate it's history and it's popularity amongst ex-pats, I never felt the urge to pull up a stool there.

    Have had dinner at the Tapas Cafe and particularly enjoyed the Suk 11 Restaurant.



    Quote Originally Posted by taxexile View Post
    the pickled liver moved a few years ago, its now at the end of the sleaziest walk of shame in bangkok, the cul de sac next to soi 7, home to the eden club, numerous suck shops, massage joints and short time hotels.
    Soi 7/1 ... Subway is on the corner.

    I've drunk at the Pickled Liver a few times ... not bad.

    Often go to Bangkok Beat.

    Is it the 'sleaziest walk of shame in Bangkok'? I find it more amusing to walk to see some of the Entertainment of show. Sort of like Street TV.

    .
    Last edited by David48atTD; 24-11-2016 at 03:54 PM.
    Perspective is everything ... it's the difference between going through an ordeal or going through an adventure..

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by taxexile
    its now at the end of the sleaziest walk of shame in bangkok, the cul de sac next to soi 7, home to the eden club, numerous suck shops, massage joints and short time hotels
    Sounds like you've had a good look around down there, mate

  11. #11
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KEVIN2008
    Indian Capital Group along with some foreign investors. He’s heard that they plan to put up a hotel or condominium on the one-rai parcel
    The last thing Suk 11 needs is another condo. The place is a nightmare now.

  12. #12
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    Lovely bar and a very nice guy. He pretends that he doesn't speak English but I was sure he did and devised a plan to trap him. I was sitting immediately next to his serving hatch and start speaking to a guy who was being served. The guy remarked that it was a nice place. I replied by saying, " It's great and the owner is very rich, so rich he doesn't open on Sundays." Khun Ekkachai, or Jackie Chan as I call him, burst into laughter as I said, " Got you ! You speak English".

    Had some very good nights there as it seemed to attract a well educated crowd. I doubt many on this forum would have known of its existence.

  13. #13
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by can123
    Had some very good nights there as it seemed to attract a well educated crowd. I doubt many on this forum would have known of its existence.
    Had a condo late 90s just around the corner on Soi 13. Dropped in on occasion for a cool one. Never was a normal hangout for me. The alley had a few good resturants and yes I always got my med certs from the VD clinic.

  14. #14
    RUSH HER TODAY
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    Tragic Tapas my favorite haunt in Suk, enjoyed many an evening there and the other places.

    Any recommendations for authentic catalan tapas elsewhere?

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by david44
    Any recommendations for authentic catalan tapas elsewhere?
    Tapas y Vinas @ Pullman Bangkok Grande on Suk 21

    The solomillo de cerdo gratinado con queso manchego with compota de manzana y cebollitas caramelizadas looks fantastic, Dave


  16. #16
    RUSH HER TODAY
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    Grassy arse Dilly will check it out, If you know the date of last night at Charlies be a good TD get together and overflow to Bierhaus or Zs Sportsmans etc

  17. #17
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    Khun Ekkechai also has a small resort in Hua Hin.

    Suk 11, I've known the owners for years.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by can123
    I doubt many on this forum would have known of its existence.
    It's kind of a landmark place to have a beer. I'd bet everyone knows of existence if not have visited multiple occasions.

  19. #19
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by CSFFan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by can123
    I doubt many on this forum would have known of its existence.
    It's kind of a landmark place to have a beer. I'd bet everyone knows of existence if not have visited multiple occasions.
    You exaggerate the intelligence of the members here.

  20. #20
    Sauerkraut stroller's Avatar
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    Yeah, known it since '95, good for an eary drink in the evening before venturing further.

    Can123 probably accidentally bumped into it while staying at the Nana for a holiday with his wife & kids last year.

  21. #21
    RUSH HER TODAY
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    Quote Originally Posted by stroller
    before venturing further
    were you young willing in red gingham mini-skirt?, sorry I was late should have taken BTS , got stuck in the floods,I hope your evening was as moist as mine and you met a man equally hansum

  22. #22
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    It is one of the main meeting/starting points of an evening out on lower Suk.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by CSFFan View Post
    It is one of the main meeting/starting points of an evening out on lower Suk.
    I agree but none of the nutters on my block list would be tolerated there. It's a place for informed people to gather, chat and socialise and not a place to promote discord.

  24. #24
    Thailand Expat cyrille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by can123
    I agree but none of the nutters on my block list would be tolerated there.
    Yes I remember the admittance policy being pretty exclusive.

  25. #25
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    I have had many a drink there, ok, but always felt it was a bit too cramped for my liking.
    Was it just me or were Thai females not really welcome.

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