5 Months Sobriety… and The Brassy Bar With the ‘Un-Brassy-Whores’ Fights Back!!!

5 Months – still sober. (Well done Mobi – pat yourself on your back☺)

 

It seems such a long time ago that I took my final drink.

It was a very drunken New Year’s Eve night, out at the Lakeside bars – amazingly on foot, followed by a drunken stagger home, stopping on the way at Sammy’s Bar, where I had my very last drink. Upon arrival home, I found Noo and my 3 dogs waiting for me; sleeping on and around the sofa.  I recall flopping down beside Noo before passing out. The next thing I remember is waking up, several hours later, with my head hanging a few inches from the floor and my body draped, fully clothed, across the sofa. Noo was napping in the far corner of the long sofa. I roused myself, grabbed hold of Noo and she led me into the bedroom, where she helped me to undress and I collapsed once more, this time onto a bed, where I slept for many hours.

Upon awakening, I felt terrible for Noo and somehow I knew that this was it. My drinking career was at an end and there would be no turning back.

Initially, I sought the support of AA, but as time went on I decided that I really didn’t need them and decided to go it alone. AA was always there if I felt the need later.

Now, exactly five months since that momentous decision, I think I have done reasonably well. I am still sober and have no lingering desire to drink, even when I am with drinking buddies in bars. I regard this as a considerable achievement. In other matters, my life is a changing slowly but surely and no-one knows better than me how far I still have to go. There are many issues that I still have to address, not least of which is my addictive propensity to play with the girls and my lack of physical exercise. However, I do feel confident that over the next 5 months, these and other issues in my life will slowly climb to the top of my agenda.

The Brassy Bar with the not so brassy whores fights back!!!

On May 15th I wrote a piece about a new bar that had recently opened up near the Lake by the name of Brasshouse Bar and restaurant. I usually refrain from ‘naming and shaming‘ these days, but for some reason, I decided to ‘out’ this particular establishment. I know it’s a bit mean and the last thing I want to do is deprive someone of their livelihood, but I doubt that anything Mobi says in his blog will affect their custom too much, and in any event, a ‘wise word’ can sometimes be heeded for the better….

Here is what I wrote: Mobi’s blog of May 15th – Brassy whores and Brasshouse bars…

 

And here is what one of the outraged owners recently wrote back to me:

WE ACTUALLY CHARGE 30 BAHT ON TOP OF THE DRINK PRICE FOR LADY DRINKS.THE REASON FOR THIS IS TO KEEP TIGHT ARSED FUCK-WITS LIKE YOU OUT OF THE BAR.

IF YOU WANT TO PLAY ABOUT WITH YOUNG GIRLS I SUGGEST YOU FUCK OFF TO ANOTHER BAR YOU BEAST.!!

NEXT TIME YOU WANT TO VOICE AN OPINION PLEASE FEEL FREE TO POP IN AND I WILL COVER THE COSTS OF ALL YOUR DRINKS FOR THE EVENING.

KIND REGARDS

THE BRASSHOUSE

 

OK, I was a little nasty about where these owners might have originated, but let’s face it, some of the points I was making about this particular bar, and indeed many others in and around Pattaya, were, in this blogger’s opinion, completely valid, and anyone with even a modicum of intelligence would know it.

I mean it’s not exactly ‘rocket science’ to know that if you are  running a bar and hope to attract customers and retain them, then a welcoming smile when they arrive, and a ‘Thank you for your service’ when they leave, and the occasional ‘drink on the house’ would do wonders to their customer loyalty. But do any of these ‘johnny come lately’s, who fancy themselves as God’s gift to bar owners do any of these simple things? Hell will freeze over before it even occurs to them.

They just don’t seem to understand that east of Sukhumvit, Pattaya, there are very few tourists, only residents – some long term, some short term, but whatever they are, there is only a finite number. In Pattaya, you have a new bunch of tourists virtually every day of the week and many bars can get away with treating their punters with contempt and even ripping them off  – it doesn’t really matter there, as tomorrow there will be a new load of mugs arriving and ready for the taking.

But on the Darkside, it is a whole different kettle of fish. In my opinion there are already far too many bars for the number of people living here and you can see this clearly if you drive around the lake or down Nern Plub wan, Soi Kow Noi and other Darkside sois. Each bar will have its’ own little clique of 2 or 3 regular customers; but on some nights, there are no customers at all.

New bars are opening all the time, and for a while they will succeed in ‘stealing’ a few customers away from the established bars until such time as the punters get fed up with the new place and move on to yet more recent additions to the multitude of bars.

So every bar struggles to survive, for there simply aren’t enough customers to go around. Not only do most newcomers to the bar-owning scene fail to understand this, but they also fail to appreciate the power of the ‘spoken word’. If one customer gets pissed off, or, in his opinion is treated badly or overcharged or has his bill padded (an extremely common occurrence), he will tell all his mates and acquaintances. And the next time he goes into a rival bar, he will tell everyone there who wishes to listen. So thus, within a very short time, not only will the disgruntled customer refuse to ever go back to the place that upset him, but a whole load of other people will also give that place a miss. Why not? There’s loads of alternative places begging for your custom?

There was one bar – one of the first successful bars on the lake – that had a host of regulars who would drink and eat daily. I was one of them.  It had (still has) one of the best positions on the lake with a wonderful view of the lakeside sunsets and is really a nice pace to relax for a few hours over a few beers. But over a period of time, successive farang mangers who were employed there, succeeded in pissing off the customers so badly that eventually, for over a year, there wasn’t a single customer in that place. The owner was sufficiently well off to sit it out and it is only recently that the bar has shown signs of recovery after all the old ‘disaffected’ punters have finally moved on and a new generation has rediscovered the place.

Then more recently, there is another large pub/restaurant – larger and much nicer than Brasshouse, with a Lakeside view and everything going for it, which is now in such dire straits that you can sit there for 3 or 4 hours and never see another customer. A year ago, this particular pub and the restaurant was awash with customers – from early morning from breakfast, to the late, late hours. People would come and go all day long, some of them heavy drinkers, some out for a chat with friends, others with their families, and the large restaurant was always buzzing and many customers came purely for a few drinks and a ‘take away’ to eat back at home. Saturday night would see a ‘family karaoke’ with free food and a great fun was enjoyed by a full house. It was by far and away the most successful bar around the lake and probably the entire Darkside, but now it looks in terminal decline, unless someone quickly takes it in hand.

What happened? The farang owner was an alcoholic, and as his drinking and drunken antics became worse, the management of the place slowly fell apart. He eventually got kicked out by his Thai wife, but although she means well, the wife has no idea how to manage a bar and her staff and how to keep her customers happy; so the place has slowly lost all their regulars. The service there is very offhand and the food is almost inedible.

There are other bars and restaurants which have suffered similar fates – almost invariably due to the management’s failure to understand the first concepts of the restaurant and bar trade. The customer is ALWAYS RIGHT, (even when they are wrong!), and one dissatisfied customer quickly multiplies into dozens, once the dreaded words gets out.

Why is it, I wonder, that thousands of farangs, with no previous experience in the catering industry or running bars, with no previous business experience and no experience in managing staff – let alone staff who don’t speak English, suddenly imagine that they can run a bar successfully on the other side of the world where they can’t even speak the language and have little or no comprehension of the customs, culture and work practices. They marry a whore, and think that if they can’t run it, then their ex-whore-wives can!!! laughable, ain’t it? 

And even if a miracle happens – or maybe they just luck out – and they actually succeed in making money, they will almost certainly be robbed blind by their Thai partners/wives /girlfriends along with drinking themselves into oblivion. If they happen to stumble upon a  really successful formula, they will either be bumped off by a rival or subject to so much extortion by the mafia-cops that they will either end up in jail, deported or or dead, (i.e.jumping from the eighth story of a condo). One way or another, their new found success will not last long.

Due to the glut of bars of all kinds on the Darkside, any new bar has to offer something new – something different – to attract the punters, and the management has to pull out every trick in the book to build up his customer base and retain it. Do these dozies over at Brasshouse understand this? I doubt the thought has even crossed their minds.

So what do they do? They charge more for a lady’s drink than any other bar on the Darkside – in some instances it is more than 100% more expensive than other bars in the area and even many in Pattaya itself. I am accused of being a TIGHT ARSED FUCK-WIT (sic). Again they have totally missed the point. This isn’t about being a cheap Charlie; (anyone who has ever been drinking with me will know that whatever accusations you can justifiably level at me, being a tight arse isn’t one of them), it’s about paying a fair price for a fair service. If every other bar and pub in the area is charging from 65 to 95 Baht for a lady’s drink, why on earth should I pay 130 Baht plus at Brasshouse for the privilege of sitting next to a distinctly ‘3rd drawer’ lady’ who won’t even hold your hand in a distinctly average, open air bar, without even a lakeside view???

 

The esteemed Brasshouse management then continues his tirade: “IF YOU WANT TO PLAY ABOUT WITH YOUNG GIRLS I SUGGEST YOU FUCK OFF TO ANOTHER BAR…”

Well seeing as he has brought the subject up, I will remind him – or maybe his Brummy partner, (There are 2 farang owners – I don’t know which one of them wrote the comment to me), that the only person who welcomed Mobi to his bar with anything resembling a smile was his, (or his partner’s wife), who knew me very well from an infamous ‘short time’ bar nearby!! She was a working girl there before she had presumably been ‘rescued’ from that den of iniquity by a guy who now looks down on those who, like himself, used to ‘play about with young girls….’ As far as I can see he (or his partner) is still playing around with one particular young girl… I wonder how long that will last?

Two more points.

Firstly, nobody can remember the name of the place, (we call it BB or Brummy Bar), because the sign is so poorly designed that it is only in the bright light of day that you even have the slightest chance of reading it when driving however slowly past, in a vehicle. On a cloudy day or as soon as it starts to get dark there is no way you can make out the very dark purple lettering.

Good thinking guys – make a sign that no one can read.☺

 

And last but not least – The place is called ‘The Brasshouse Pub and Restaurant’. Guess what? There is no restaurant and no food, unless you want one of the ‘third drawer’ waitresses to order a take-out pizza for you! So we have prospective new customers, who are driving by and succeed in reading the sign. Feeling peckish, they decide to stop and have a couple of beers and try out the menu; whereupon they are told: ‘No have! – you wanna Pizza?

As dear old Trink used to say:

“But I don’t give a hoot!”

 

BUTT…BUTT….

 

9 thoughts on “5 Months Sobriety… and The Brassy Bar With the ‘Un-Brassy-Whores’ Fights Back!!!”

  1. OK MOBI YOUR TRUE IDENTITY IS SAFE WITH ME.
    HAVING TIME TO REFLECT ON YOUR RECENT COMMENTS I HAVE COME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT A LITTLE BIT OF LIGHT HEARTED BANTER DOES NOT HURT ANYONE AND ALTHOUGH I DO NOT AGREE WITH MOST OF YOUR POINTS OF VIEW THERE ARE SOME THAT I WILL CONSIDER AS CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM.
    YOU ARE CORRECT IN SAYING THAT THIS DEBATE HAS RUN ITS COURSE AND I THANK YOU FOR WISHING OUR ESTABLISHMENT WELL FOR THE FUTURE WHICH I DO BELIEVE IN BEING SINCERE.
    ON A FINAL NOTE I LOOK FORWARD TO READING A MORE POSITIVE REVIEW IN A COUPLE OF YEARS TIME.

    BEST REGARDS

    THE BRASSHOUSE

  2. IVE GOT GOOD NEWS FOR YOU MOBI.THE RESTAURANT IS NOW OPEN SO I WILL COVER THE COST OF YOUR FOOD ASWELL AS YOUR DRINKS.
    INSTEAD OF HIDING BEHIND YOUR KEYBOARD WHY DONT YOU COME IN AND VOICE YOUR OPINIONS IN PERSON TO ME.?

    YOU WILL BE SUPRISED TO FIND THAT I AM A VERY UNDERSTANDING PERSON.{YOU MAY EVEN BE MORE SUPRISED TO FIND OUT THAT YOU KNOW ME!}

    DONT BE SHY I LOOK FORWARD TO THE PLEASURE OF YOUR COMPANY .

    KIND REGARDS
    BRASSHOUSE

    1. It might have been a good idea for you to have covered over the part of your sign that read ‘Restaurant’, until such time as food was indeed available. In addition, it might have also been good sense for you to have put up a temporary sign in a prominent position to the effect that:

      ‘Sorry, the restaurant is not yet open but the management will be happy to arrange a take-out order from a nearby establishment. Please bear with us during this opening period…’ …or words to that effect.

      I have got news for you. You will never know how many people saw your place, decided to stop for a meal and then went away disappointed, many never to return. They will never tell you and you will never know, and on the Darkside, you need every customer you can get hold of, for, as a bunch, they are extremely fickle.

      Trust me, your honeymoon period will come to an end and then you will wonder what you did to lose all your regulars.

      You will also never know how many customers, apart from Mobi, got pissed off when they found how much you charge for a lady’s drink. They will never tell you – only Mobi is prepared to speak out and one day you may thank me.

      As for paying for my drinks and buying me a meal; well I must thank you for your kind offer, but you don’t seem to understand that wining and dining Mobi is not going to make your problems go away. You seem to think that everything can be solved by paying out some cash. I am simply not interested in free drinks and food, especially from a place that I have been critical of. It would clearly compromise my independence as a blogger who is trying to truthfully tell his readers the way he sees things – from both far and near.

      As for ‘hiding behind my keyboard’ –well that’s what bloggers and journalists do. They go out, they observe, they experience they participate and they research, and then they go back to their keyboards and write about their experiences and offer their opinions. I am just a regular bloke who writes a blog under a pseudonym. A few close friends know my true identity but most do not – for very obvious reasons. If you are unsure why I do not use my real name, just read some of my blog….

      If my identity is ‘outed’, it would not be the end of the world and I could quite happily live with it, but it is not something I would particularly encourage.

      It actually saddens me that you may know my true identity for you can have only learned of it through one source – the alcoholic blabber-mouth who drinks at your place 3-4 days a week and drives home so effing drunk that he can barely see the road. This guy used to be my trusted friend, hence he knows my nick name, but for a long time now, his massive daily intake of alcohol, (he drinks from early morning until he passes out in late evening), has turned him into a rambling, incoherent, nasty, vicious drunk of the worst possible type. He seems to derive great pleasure in passing on any information he can gather about me to my estranged wife, (she is a friend of his wife), as well as spreading much malicious, untrue gossip about me. I honestly maintain that I have never done one thing to deserve this special treatment from him, except to stand up to him when he chose to shout and swear at me in public without any provocation whatsoever.

      This is another reason why I will never go to your establishment, as I have no desire to have any further confrontations with this revolting, tedious, drunken ancient ‘has-been’. Life’s too short.

      Anyway, ‘Brasshouse’, I am happy to hear that your restaurant is now open and thank you once again for your kind offer, but must regretfully decline. This debate seems to have run its course – I have made my point and you have responded, so shall we leave it at that?

      You probably won’t believe me, but I do wish you well and I hope you succeed in your endeavour. No one would be happier than I to find that you prove me wrong and you still have a flourishing business going in two years’ time.

      Good luck my friend…

      Mobi

  3. I totally agree with your Wonderful Comments about, having been to that very establishment and been treated exactly the same, I even saw the 2 dick heads who own/run it. Sitting there as arrogant as anything, totally ignoring all their customers. The day I went there there were about 6 or 7 girls sitting at a table out side just talking among themselves, I walk in with a friend, smiled at them all and that’s it, they did not look at us again.

    Please tell me, why do you have girls in a bar that totally ignore ALL customers. I really need to know what the point is. Perhaps the 2 cleaver gentlemen who run Brummy bar or what ever its call can enlighten me?

    Its a shame about the other pub you wrote about, I used to like it there. I noticed when I was in there at the weekend that all the bar snacks like crisps, pickled onions and eggs have gone and Mobi is right, the staff had a very off hand attitude barely able to get up and fetch another drink. However I must comment on the other bar that the owner of this pub also owns – they have quite a few girls there and most are nice and attentive, and look after the customers well.

  4. Sounds like Mobi fancies himself an expert at the bar business in good ole’ dark side Chonburi. I think with all the advice and critique of the local haunts it’s about time we get a new bar opened under management of the bar stool expert himself.

    Free management advice if anyone names there new bar “Mobi’s Road to Excess Bar and Grill!”

    what say you Mobi? About time you issue a challenge to the local wanna bees

    1. Well, having been involved business at many levels for most of my working life, including a spell of nearly ten years in Thailand in a variety of businesses, I certainly have a good amount of business ‘nous’ and common sense that can be more or less applied to any business you care to name.

      Add this the fact that, as you quite rightly state, there can be few who have spent more time in more bars than this self-appointed ‘bar stool expert’.

      A few years back, my then wife asked me to invest in her plans to start up a rubber plantation upcountry. I asked her for a few details of the costs involved and other details and it soon became clear that she knew very little other than the fact that there was ‘a lot of money to be made.’ I asked her if she had prepared a business plan and she looked at me in astonishment and not a little anger.

      ‘Thais don’t need business plans! We are not farangs! We just work out everything as we go along – This is Thailand, not England – we do our business in a different way to you!

      In that case, I told her, I am not interested in investing. Later, I made a few enquiries and Googled some Thai sites on the rubber business here and found some very detailed information, mostly in the Thai language – some government sponsored – that provided a wealth of information on this business. I gently nudged my wife to look at these web sites, and before I knew it, she was reading intently, downloading pages and pages and even calling contact numbers to get more information.

      To cut a long story short, about three months later, my wife became a bit of an expert on the rubber business. She knew what was required at every stage of the process, the likely costs involved and even where to source her materials. Once I was satisfied that the business plan was sound, I agreed to make an investment. Now, several years down the line, the maturing trees will soon be ready to ‘tap’ and she will have a thriving little business for her and her family up-country to live off into their old age. I will not see a penny of this, but I am happy that I was able to do this for her, although she has told me on several recent occasions, that once her rubber business starts making money, she will be happy to support me if ‘I ever ‘fall on hard times….’

      I wonder how many farangs who have decided to open bars in Thailand have even put pen to paper to work out such matters as the total investment required, (including working capital until the business starts to turn a profit), the real operating costs, (including a large wage bill to attract the best girls and bar staff), income projections, so on and so forth. I wonder if any of them even tried to work out the possible ROI – Return on investment – and whether they wouldn’t be have been better off putting their little nest egg into offshore bonds or some other, much safer investment. (I doubt whether most of them even know what an ROI is.)

      But apart from the pure ‘business’ aspects, there is the need to have previous experience in this kind of business, which would include knowing how to manage Thai staff and dealing with all the myriad ‘cultural’ issues that they will have to deal with on a day to day basis – anything from bribing the BIB to ensuring that a spirit house is erected and properly respected.

      Managing staff in Thailand require very special skills and it doesn’t matter whether they are bar girls, manual workers, or engineers with a string of degrees after their names – they still need to be managed very skilfully or you will be forever in crisis mode. Ask any farang who has been involved in business here and he will confirm what I am saying.

      As for thinking that they can manage these people without speaking the language; well frankly they are living in cloud cuckoo land. The number of times I have been in a bar and listen into the staff chatting about how stupid their farang owner is and how easy it is to cheat him and lie to him.

      Then you have to know how to attract the punters and retain them. I could go on and on, but then I would be revealing all my secrets.

      So yes, I think I do have a pretty good appreciation on what it would take to run a successful bar on The Darkside, and who knows – one day – I might even give it a try. But frankly I doubt it, as first and foremost I don’t need the money and in any event, after all these years I have learned that it is extremely unwise for any farang to invest any money in a business in this country unless he is fully prepared to lose it. There are just too many pitfalls for even the canniest of farang businessmen, let alone these idiots who fancy themselves as bar owners.

      But just in case one day I do one day decide to ‘take the plunge’, I will keep my thoughts to myself on: ‘How to run a successful Darkside bar without really trying….’

      Mobi

  5. Ooooo …. bitchy!

    Nasty to Americans and now Brummies, why do you have to be so bad to the simple minded? It’s not nice and it’s not clever.

    By the way, I hope you washed your hands (or used different hands) when you fingered the bar tarts the other day, I believe it’s what the cold wet towels are for. Doubling up with oneself is an awful way to spread diseases.

    Woof woof.

  6. congratulations on making it five months, mobi. keep up the good work.

    good points on bars on the “darkside”. i’ve never been to that part of town before, but if it’s an environment of residents instead of tourists as you describe, then what you advise is nothing short of good business sense!

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