The Disco Next Door

In the more than five years that we have lived in our medium-sized condo, we have seen the 1950s house next door transition from being an Indian restaurant to K-Pop nightclub. Now it is set to make its next metamorphosis and become a community mall.

red-indian-restaurant

The house, as you can see in this borrowed picture above, was a beautiful “tropical modern” style, very common in this neighborhood which was, in the 1950s, a fashionable place for well-off families to build their weekend “country” home. Of course, back then this area of Bangkok was truly on the outskirts of town. When we arrived a half-decade ago, it was a contemporary Indian restaurant that didn’t ever seem busy but did do a good job preserving the architecture of the building.

P1270003

 

Then about a year ago, we were informed it was going to become a “the world’s first K-Pop pub”. Much to the consternation of our residents, a new tenant built an exterior shell around the house and turned it into this gaudy sight. Our condo’s management, along with other nearby residents, used all available legal channels to block their operation and ultimately, they opened only a handful of nights before shutting down. Part of me wonders whether it was ever actually meant to be a legitimate business, as the idea of putting a pub in the midst of a residential area was ill-conceived from the start.

P1280027

 

Recently, construction has started again. The exterior of the pub has been pulled down and you can see that the old house remains. After a week or two of initial curiosity, we were finally informed what will be built there.

MINI MALL

 

The new space will be a “community mall” – the term used locally to describe these smaller-scale open air shopping centers that may have at most one or two dozen shops, a limited amount of parking, and restaurants and light retail.

MINI MALL (2)

 

Quite a number exist within a five- to ten-minute walk from our condo, so I’m not sure what the need is, but I suppose it is a better use of the space than a K-Pop nightclub. According to the plans, the original house will still be incorporated in some way, although from these two elevations, I don’t see where.

Anyhow, that’s what’s happening next door. How are things where you are?

 

 

26 thoughts on “The Disco Next Door

  1. I lived next to the construction site of a huge condo complex for two years. The nuisance from nearby construction is super high. From how I recall your neighborhood, this mall might lead to more traffic once opened.

    • Well, the street is already fairly busy so that may not change much. I’m hoping that there is a coffee shop, a few nice restaurants, etc. May actually increase our property values a bit.

      • Yeah, a coffee shop or a supermarket might be a nice addition. Since I cannot recall the traffic level in your street, I take your word. :-)>

  2. Interesting post & pictures. It’s amazing that the original structure of the house is still there – you would have thought they’d bulldozed the whole thing. The last picture looks like a small villa, or a small apartment building to me – I guess it’ll match the residential buildings.

    I live in suburbia, but there was a big patch of land that was for sale a couple of months ago – I think someone purchased it. I bet they’re going to build a big a massive apartment building there, although I hope not, because all the houses in my neighbourhood are either single or double storey detached houses.

    I used to love my neighbourhood until I had a bad brush with a neighbour – now all I care about is that they build things that raise the property prices – a massive apartment building would lower it, I think. I hope they just separate it into smaller lots, so that more detached houses can be built.

  3. It’s sad that some of the old houses and buildings are demolished. We don’t have a lot of old buildings left in the city. It always seems to be a constant battle between developers and the small group of Councillors along with the historical group (can’t remember their name) that try to preserve some of these older buildings.

    In my ‘hood, there’s quite a lot of development with many pressures on traffic and public transit. There are still a lot of nice older houses and buildings.

  4. I remember when it was Red! What a beautiful home and so sad to see its old beauty gone. This reminds me of Vanilla Garden and I’m sure what’s replacing it will try to be like JVillage et al. Funny, I just drove through LA tonight with my parents and reminisced of once was.

    • I think they are particularly trying to emulate Seenspace on Thong Lor 13. There’s another place going up on Thong Lor opposite the mouth of Soi 5 – used to be the complex Beccofino was in.

  5. I would much rather have a mall than a club. I am impressed by the way they use vacant buildings there in a useful way.
    Been a calm week end here with ice and snow that is gone today.
    You and Tawn have a wonderful week end.

  6. OH I love that original picture!!! SO peaceful and calming!! It is too bad that “improvements” can’t incorporate the best of what is already so wonderful!!! As to what is going on with OUR neighborhood…well…I have WONDERFUL neighbors..not only the 2 legged variety ( and their 4 legged buddies) but we also have some other great “folks” that come around to visit…Sandhill Cranes, Red Shouldered and Red Tailed Hawks, Screech Owls and Barred Owl, Geckos and adorable little Green Tree Frogs!!! I love our life here in Florida!!!! 🙂

  7. i prefer the look of the 50s house that used to be an indian restaurant. then again, the new to-be mall could be worth a regular visit than an indian restaurant.

    • The reality is the Indian restaurant had a poor reputation as being overpriced. I guess it is better that there be something useful there, even though it is a shame the house will no longer be visible.

      • such a shame indeed. it’s like loosing a valuable historical piece of the neighborhood.

  8. I really don’t understand the obsession with building malls. There seems to be a mall popping up every second day in India too.

  9. Hi! I like the conceptual photo of the project. But, I haven’t seen it anywhere today. What is the name of this community mall? Is the construction finished? Thank you in advance for replying

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