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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat
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    Grand Prix Bar - Rick Menard RIP

    Former Bangkok sports bar owner dies

    Published: 25/04/2009 at 12:00 AM Newspaper section: Sports

    Rick Menard, who founded and managed the Grand Prix Bar on Patpong, one of Thailand's first sports bars for expatriates and the bar that introduced a-go-go dancing to Thailand, died from cancer earlier this month in Las Vegas, Nevada.
    Before coming to Thailand, Menard had served with the US military where in 1962 he had been stationed in Nha Trang, Vietnam and where he had become the first serving US serviceman to be legally married to a Vietnamese national.
    After leaving the military in 1966, Menard joined a civilian company in Vietnam where he stayed until mid-1968 before he was transferred to Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat) in Thailand.
    Later he came to Bangkok where he met Udom Patpong and decided to open a bar. The Grand Prix Cocktail Lounge and Bar was born in a converted gift shop on Patpong Road.
    For over 22 years, since its opening in February 1969, the Grand Prix was a hub of nightlife on Patpong Road and many international sports stars passed through its doors.
    Among these included Formula One motor racing champion Jackie Stewart of Scotland, boxing promoter Don King, World Boxing Council president Jose Sulaiman, world heavyweight champion Pinklon Thomas and light welterweight champion Saul Mamby.
    Other big name visitors had included Mr and Mrs Walter Cronkite, Bob Hope, Tennessee Williams and actor Willem Dafoe.
    Menard, who was a great boxing fan, retired from owning and managing the Grand Prix in April 1991 and moved to Las Vegas where his two daughters, then seven and nine years old, could get good schooling.
    He died in a Nevada hospital on April 16

    One of the 1st people I met on the "strip" when I arrived in 86, a really nice guy. Always kept very close tabs on the bookies in Vegas for all the major US sporting events!!

  2. #2
    I am in Jail

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    Wasn’t he rumoured to be the Vagas mafia’s bookkeeper at one time?

  3. #3
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    Does anyone remember Crazy horse?

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by gjbkk
    Wasn’t he rumoured to be the Vagas mafia’s bookkeeper at one time
    There were rumours, but I was a newbie at the time, and the streeet had far more interesting things to worry about

  5. #5
    I am in Jail

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    I wasn’t even a newbie then, but came here for a month holiday twice a year every year from 1986 until I got a job here in 1990. Patpong was something else in those days.

  6. #6
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    He was a great supporter of Father Joe Maier and the Human Development Centre. Remember the late afternoons shooting dice in his "private" bar, Boxing days on Sunday. He will be missed.

  7. #7
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    I managed the Grand Prix for Rick for a month in 1991 when he returned to the US. It was an interesting experience.

  8. #8
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    I knew Rick well from 1978 until the bar closed in '91 and spent many a night at the small bar rolling dice. A good friend. RIP.

  9. #9
    Scene, not herd.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mackayae
    He was a great supporter of Father Joe Maier
    Wasn't he accused of kiddy fiddling?

  10. #10
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    Bogon's Avatar
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    ^^ Who? The deceased or the priest?

  11. #11
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    I too spent quite a bit of time at his "private" bar (74-78). I really felt like a VIP, sitting with his cronies, hearing his stories...I felt so honored.

    May he RIP

  12. #12
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    Sorry to Hijack the thread, But one of the old timers from the Grand Prix passed away on Saturday, John Murdock. Anyone that knew him was a lucky person.

    Could not beat Bone Cancer, he put up a fight, taking Chemo and Radio at the same time.

    RIP John.

  13. #13
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    ^Thanks for the info, TP. I hadn't heard, and I knew John for many years. RIP.

  14. #14
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    Grand Prix Photos

    Hi there,
    this is Dirk and I found this post when searching for Rick Menard - RIP. I am doing a historical short movie on Patpong and therefore look for old photos and videos from the early days. Does anyone of you has some images especially from the Grand Prix and Rick but also others from Patpong? I have spoken and interviewed some longtime guys and already collected a lot of images and videos. It will be an interesting film and any footage which could help me to compete the picture of Patpong would be great.
    Thanks a lot,Best,Dirk

  15. #15
    Fookin' Fumin'
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    PM a guy called Butterfly, he's notorious down there

  16. #16
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    sounds like his memory will live a long time

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