An East Pattaya beer bar has turned to selling clothes to survive the lockdown.
Parichart Siriwan, owner of The Local on Soi Khao Noi, said the coronavirus pandemic hit shortly after she opened. For months last year and weeks now, she has been unable to open, leaving her and the employees scrambling to make ends meet.
This year she collected good-quality, first and second-hand clothing to sell. Shirts and shorts go for 50 baht each, or three for 100 baht, and sporty trousers and fatigues sell for 100 baht.
“We had been open for only a short while before the pandemic struck,” she said. “After the first lockdown eased, business started to pick up but then, all of a sudden, the second wave hit, which hurt us twice as bad as last year.
Deep in the Darkside, the Local Bar’s customers are overwhelmingly western expats living around Soi Khao Noi, she said.
“This was really bad luck for us, but it was something we could not avoid,” Parichart said. “We co-operated with the government with its lockdown and safety measures. But we are also lucky because the property owner has been very generous and reduced the rent from 10,000 baht to 5,000 baht, which helps a lot.”
She said the clothing sales generate only a few hundred baht in revenue a day, but said it helps cover daily costs.
“I used to earn thousands of baht every day, but now I’m down to only a few hundred,” Parichart said.
Like everyone in Pattaya, she hopes the government will quickly relax the lockdown and allow bars to open again.