The Tahitian Queen (known affectionately as the TQ), Pattaya’s original A-go-go bar and Pattaya’s longest running establishment, has shuttered for the last time after 42 years. With over 100 employees, the objective for the last ten months has been to keep them with enough salary that they could subsist until the Covid nightmare is over.
The latest shutdown was the last nail in the coffin with the bar’s coffers empty. Even as this shutdown was only scheduled for two weeks, there is great fear it would continue for much longer and it would be many months before the situation returns to normal tourist arrivals.
Last year after four months of lockdown, the TQ was one of the first establishments to re-open in July. Fortunately, the landlord graciously granted half rent. The employees likewise agreed to half salaries.
The TQ is blessed with many regular and loyal customers who supported the bar to the best of their ability over the last six months. The TQ probably had more customers than most other bars in town during this period. Still, without the regular tourist arrivals, the TQ lost money every month since July.
With some customers starting to arrive after quarantine there was hope that the TQ would struggle through as more and more stringent cost-cutting measures were implemented. The priority was always to keep the staff, many of whom had called the TQ home for over 25 years, in living wages.
The promise of an impending vaccine also held promise of the situation returning to normal. The TQ was also very confident that business would be good again if they could just outlast the pandemic. However, this latest crackdown left no option but to call it quits as there were no longer funds to subsidize the shutdown.
It was a very sad night on Tuesday the 29th December 2020 as the staff arrived to collect their last paycheck. There were many tears and hugs as the doors were locked for the last time and the staff wandered off to uncertain futures.