Once a beer bar, always a beer bar. That’s apparently what customers think of attempts by Pattaya boozers to switch from suds to sandwiches as they struggle to stay afloat during the coronavirus recession.
Duangdao Mason, owner of the former Dog’s Bollocks, a beer bar offering drinks only for over two decades on Soi Yamoto, changed names and format to Number One June Restaurant in June. It didn’t go well.
She tried serving up Thai and foreign dishes, especially before bars were allowed to reopen, but the expats left in town weren’t interested in eating, generating only about 1,000 baht in sales a day. So she has gone back to selling alcohol and soft drinks only.
Many of the employees Duangdao was trying to provide for have given up and gone back to Issan. Even the massage parlor next door has closed, she said.
If things don’t improve by year end, the well-known Dog’s Bollocks, now Number One June Restaurant may be no more, she said.
Thanet Supornsahatrangsi of the Chonburi Tourism Council said he hopes that Pattaya will be admitted to the Special Tourist Visa program, although currently even that only allows 1,200 foreigners a month to enter the country, which will be only a drop in a large bucket of what is needed to revive the tourism industry.