Bad Motel Bar, Restaurant and Art Space

Trendy Bar, Restaurant and Gallery in Bangkok

Bad Motel is a multi-purpose, three storey shophouse that is turning heads on Bangkok’s ultra trendy Thong Lor street thanks to a style best described as ‘demolition chic’. Half of the building is rubble, with big, gaping holes giving passersby the chance to glimpse inside and see teams of young artists creating abstract graffiti on the walls upstairs, while on the ground floor, full length windows show off an impressive cocktail bar running along one wall, with bare concrete floors and whitewashed brick that is reminiscent of a New York loft party. Out back there is a beautiful garden with enough fans to give the illusion of a sea breeze and some interesting art installations.

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Bad Motel is open from 17:00 until 01:00 and is easy to find, two doors past J-Avenue Lifestyle Mall, between Soi 15 and 17. Music is a big part of Bad Motel, with a focus on nu-disco, funk and old-school hip hop. Usually, this is not a bar for dancing; more like sitting back with a great value cocktail from an extensive list and snacking on some interesting casual Thai cuisine.

The menu of Thai cuisine with slight twists may be limited in terms of choice, but there is enough to keep a large group happy. The wing bean salad (150 baht) is a well-balanced dish with a blend of chilli, nuts, onion and crunchy wing bean. All this is dressed up with pomelo and quail egg for a lovely appetiser. The shrimp cerviche (150 baht) is a delicious accompaniment to a cocktail: raw and unshelled shrimp spread around a central lime and chilli drizzle and topped with slices of garlic – it’s a dish with a lot of personality. These are strong, bold bar snacks for the well-to-do. Our favourite option from the food menu is the hormok salmon with steamed yellow curry paste (150 baht). It is served in a banana leaf, the steamed yellow curry paste forming a kind of muffin top with slices of tender pink salmon layered underneath.

There is a seriously impressive drinks menu of several pages, and everything is very competitively priced. Cocktails mixed nice and boozy for 190 baht are hard to find in this part of town, and to make it better there’s a happy hour from 17:00 to 20:00 offering two cocktails for the price of one on their classic range. Cocktails are served in faux-retro glasses with preserved fruit on a stick for a colourful flourish.

Art exhibitions run concurrently at Bad Motel, but occasionally they have launch parties when Bad Motel really becomes the place to be in Bangkok. There is a rooftop bar that is saved for these special occasions so if you like the sound of Bad Motel, keep your eye on their upcoming events. Due to the range of activity in Bad Motel there is a risk that it might lack of direction with what exactly it offers, although at the moment, it is still very much in trend with the scene setters and is a great place for a casual dinner and drinks with a touch of culture.

Bad Motel Bar, Restaurant and Art Space

  • Opening Hours: 17:00 - 01:00
  • Location: Sukhumvit 55, Thonglor (between Soi 15 and 17, next to J Avenue), Bangkok
  • BTS: Thong Lor
  • Tel: +66 (0) 2 712 7288
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