Farewell to Backstage Cocktail Bar

Every party has its end. Every show has its finale. Backstage Cocktail Bar, which opened on March 1st 2016, has announced it will be closed permanently, saddening fans in the region and worldwide.

This renowned cocktail bar in Bangkok won many awards and was ranked one of the best bars in Asia and the world. Founded by a group of cocktail geniuses and eccentric bartenders; Bacardi Legacy Global Champion 2019 Ronnaporn “Neung” Kanivichaporn, Campari Bartender Competition Asia Winner 2018 Supawit “Palm” Muttaratta, Local Ingredient Wizard Kitibordee “Gov” Chortubtim, Cocktail Theorist Chennarong “Janz” Bhumichitr, Cocktail Author Watcharapong “Bank” Suriyaphan and Cocktail Organizer Anakin “Ton” Wongsala who intended to give people a safe place to be themselves.

“Like actors, people have to play their part on the stage they call workplaces or the society, but at Backstage Cocktail Bar, they can fully be themselves and enjoy their drinks”, said Bank. That was the reason why Backstage Cocktail Bar was decorated like a theatre’s backstage.
Backstage Cocktail Bar 1

The entertainment industry inspired more than just the decoration. Movies and tv shows inspire the posters of every event and guest shift at Backstage Cocktail Bar. The style of Backstage’s poster making became a talk amongst bartenders near and far. Many wanted to have a guest shift here to have their posters made and see which movie or tv show they would get.

Posters

Backstage also hosted Bangkok Bar Riot for two years. Bangkok Bar Riot is a small bartender competition, a fun, quirky competition among the Bangkok bar community. The rules and tasks were absurd, such as making a cocktail with one hand tied together with a teammate’s, which brought laughter and brightened the room.

Although Bangkok Bar Riot is a casual competition, the competitors gave their all to win the prize. The determination of the competitors was legit, and so were the judges. The judges consisted of a representative of the sponsored brand, a local journalist and a cocktail lover celeb. This competition not only helped tighten the Bangkok bar community but also helped elevate it.

Bar Riot 2

We cannot talk about a bar without talking about cocktails. The first edition of Backstage’s menu was themeless. Each co-founder created two cocktails and put them on the menu. C&Y, developed by Palm, was Backstage’s all-time best-seller even after their third edition of its menu. It ruled many drinkers’ hearts.

C&Y

In later years, the co-founders decided that their menu should relate to movies, so the first edition of the Backstage Movie Menu was born in 2018. Several films such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Casino Royale, The Godfather and Thai classic “Plae Kao” (The Scar) inspired drinks in this menu. The best-seller of this menu was Forgetful Painter, inspired by the movie 50 First Dates and created by Gov.

The last edition of the Backstage Movie Menu launched a few weeks before the pandemic of Coronavirus, and the Thai government’s demand that all bars in Thailand be closed until further announcement. It is unfortunate that these unique but short-lived cocktails such as Magic Carpet Ride, Royale with Cheese, Poisoned Me, and Meteora Martini did not receive the recognition they deserved. It also led to the end of this beloved bar in Thong Lor.

Magic Carpet Ride (1)

“Many people have asked us about the reason why Backstage Cocktail Bar is permanently closed.” Janz stated, “To be honest, it’s the result of today’s economy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been two years since we temporarily closed as the government ordered. Since the first cluster, shareholders decided to use our bar’s savings to pay our staff members and rent until the government allowed us to open again because we believed the situation would be better soon. We had waited, following the government’s rules without any help from them, and tried our best, but here we are.”

Thank you for the memories, from the Gastronomer Lifestyle Team. 

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