Na Nakorn Mini Bar
The buzz: After the attempts to turn the first floor of Kok Wua’s perennial favorite rooftop spot Pranakorn Bar into a standalone Italian restaurant fell flat, a new team with plenty of ties to Bangkok’s music and entertainment scene have taken over the space. And in a real boost to the nightlife in the Rattanakosin area, Na Nakorn Mini Bar turns the focus squarely on live music from up-and-coming bands.
The décor: The owners say their inspiration derives from the lofty bars of New York, but the petite room also bears plenty of Thai signifiers, like low wooden benches, a bare cement bar and walls adorned with corrugated iron. Other surfaces are left bare as a space to stick gig flyers in the near future. Steel glass-hangers dangle from the ceiling like imitation chandeliers, but feel free to grab yourself a glass instead of having to ask at the bar.
The music: One of the owners is Parinam Music founder Poom, which acts as a pretty good guarantee of what’s on offer. There’s live music every Thursday-Sunday with a focus on low-key acoustic covers by either artists from the Parinam roster or underground acts. The plan is to also stage proper regular gigs featuring bands from top labels like Panda Records.
The crowd: Some spillover from the rooftop bar lured by the live acoustic soundtrack mixed with the usual Khaosan-Phra Arthit party crowd and music enthusiasts.
The price: The bar induces a bottle-sharing kind of style, with whiskey choices ranging from Sangsom (B250) to Johnnie Walker Red Label (B1,000) and Jack Daniel’s (B1,300). Mixers are 50. Beers are Singha and Heineken, big and small (B70-80/B100-130). The bar has three signatures cocktails, the pretty Cherry Blossom (sweet and stylish like a Cosmopolitan, B150), the E-Pa Mojito (mojito with a secret twist, B150) and the hardcore E-Prink (which they call a “long” Long Island, B150). The bar shares the same kitchen as the above Pranakorn, so the food focus is mainly on spicy Thai gab glaem like khao pad nam prik kapi (fried rice with shrimp paste, B80), tom sab nua (beef in spicy soup, B90) and kyo hor cheese (cheese stuffed in gyoza, B100).
Why you’ll come back: The top band lineups are an exciting addition to the charming Rattanakosin area. Even if there’s no concert, though, the bar has a wonderfully laidback vibe about it: perfect for kicking back with pals. Vasachol Quadri