Some of KohSpot’s cohorts have called Chez Lodin bar/coffeehouse and Toot Yung art gallery a rawer WTF, and we find that an apt description for this indie hangout near Democracy Monument. Put on your Chuck Taylors, skinny jeans, asymmetrical hair cuts and ironic eye glasses and follow us to Chez Lodin.
You’ll be hard pressed to find a more low-key hangout where cross pollination occurs amongst art, coffee, literature and music as beautifully as a luk kreung. Even though it’s all just one converted Chinese shophouse, the downstairs serves as Chez Lodin bookshop and coffee house from 10 am to 6 pm, as a bar from 6 pm to 2 am, and the upstairs as Toot Yung gallery from 2 pm to 8 pm.
The gallery is one large room, but there are pieces of art and photos and murals and doodles all around downstairs. KohSpot was there for the closing night of Unchalee Anantawat’s Familiar Faces and the artist was there to explain her pieces (our interpretations were way off, albeit funnier) and to provide shoppers a good price as well, so that was a nice touch.
No food served here so load up before getting your party on. The alcohol on offer is sparse but reasonably priced. A few brands of beer for 100 baht, cocktails of whiskey or vodka for the same, and plonk for 120 baht. Quite simple, but the emphasis here seems to be less on a bar atmosphere getting people ‘white-boy-wasted‘ and more on re-creating a living room where alcohol is more of an afterthought to human interaction and creativity.
Where this venue really shines and draws most of its denizens is the eclectic events it hosts, including open mic stand-up comedy, humble performances from small bands using drum machines and prerecorded rhythms, karaoke, movie nights, and most recently an Old School Reggae Night. Proprietor Laudine Dubeaux has reasoned that people like to do neat and creative things, so Chez Lodin should offer the opportunity to do neat creative things, and this strikes KohSpot as watertight logic.
If pressed we’d only hope that Chez Lodin stocked more rare books written in English, but beggar’s can’t be choosers and its a stretch to find much to complain about this place. Definitely worth your time if you live or work in the area. Keep abreast of events on their Facebook page.
Chez Lodin and Toot Yung
Location: 19 Prachathipatai Road, after Saphan Wanchaat (klong), on the left if coming from Democracy Monument, just stay on Dinso Road it turns into Prachathipatai.
Mass transit: None
Hours: Bookstore and coffee 10 am-6 pm, bar 6 pm-2 am, gallery 2 pm-8 pm
Website: Toot Yung – www.tootyunggallery.com and www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=125187560852695&v=info