H1, Thong Lor’s latest attempt at creating a hip urban community mall, falls desperately short.
Most people will know the H1 building, having been around for years, as the location for the popular restaurant, To Die For, known for its “A” level stars and clientele and “C” level food. But up until a few months, not much of entertainment interest existed at H1.
Queue the facelift.
Kanye West’s Mom can attest to the fact that not all facelifts are successful, and H1′s surgery to become a new community mall for Thong Lor seems forced and over-extended.
The facelift seems to be leaning a lot of its emphasis on teaming up with Heineken who appears to have created a pop-up club in the complex. The current pop-up club, which the Heineken girl assured was an independent club and not a “pop-up Heineken club,” (we call bullshit), looked more like a recently abandoned clothing shop opposed to an established residency of party. If the pop-up club had a name beyond H1, we didn’t see it.
Scrolling text, lights and projection screens dominated the pop-up club, though this was all Heineken’s design. The actual club area was small and not conducive to dancing, mingling, bottle poppin. The bar had a Max Headroom vibe filled with TVs intentionally tuned to static, meat locker curtains and servers wearing rubber gloves. Part of the club was partitioned off by curtains which we imagine was simply concealing Heineken supplies.
There was plenty of DJs eager to jump on the turn tables to cut some beats. Tul from Apartment Khunpa was spinning along with a bunch of techno-head farang trying to hack a ASEAN career in DJing after not making the cut in their respective home countries.
We don’t see this pop-up club in H1 lasting long, if in fact it is a club and not just a Heineken marketing experiment.
As for the H1 mall, it received a great new tenant in the restaurant form of Extra Virgin. Loads of Extra Virgin loyalists were sad to see it leave its prior location situated in a beautiful Thong Lor house, but it seems that Extra Virgin is having no problem filling tables in its new digs. But even with the success of both To Die For and Extra Virgin, without some heavy hitter bars and restaurants occupying more of the space, we feel H1 is falling well short of becoming the new “it” spot in Bangkok.
H1 had its hype wave a couple years back when To Die For opened. There was no sexier place to be. Right now it feels old and tired with its new facelift. It vibes as a stale version of SeenSpace on Thong Lor 13. And why go back with your old girlfriend when your new gig has a better body (restaurants) and more brains (coffee shops and bars)?
H1 Community Mall
Location: On the right-hand side on Thong Lor, past soi 20, just before you hit the bridge over the khlong. The Accademia Italiana Fashion & Design Institute is also in this complex.
Mass transit: Thong Lor