Every amazing movement has a beginning. Little did we know when Ash Sutton’s very own Iron Fairies opened its doors a handful of years ago on Thong Lor that it would spawn a movement of thoughtful designed venues and carefully concocted drinks in Bangkok. A lot of credit needs to be handed to Ash, as he started a movement of his own to improve the quality of starter bars in Thong Lor. Its spread across Bangkok and the city is a better place because of it.
So what can you expect if you visit Iron Fairies? Well, with words like factory, laboratory and workshop on the front doors and window, Iron Fairies enlists a curious emotion right off the bat. Open the door to be faced with a full length drape separating you from the bar and you embrace the sensation that exclusivity is on the menu.
Sadly, when Iron Fairies first opened, you could rarely get a seat and crowds would spill out to to the street where cigarettes were burned and acutely dressed hipsters pondered life. It now seems that you can easily get a seat most nights at Iron Fairies.
Once inside The Iron Fairies you side-step a winding staircase that leads upwards and nowhere as you feel teleported back a few hundred years, or into a dark torture room. The bar/shop has a dirty, dusty feel where you throw peanut shells on the ground. Machines seem to be everywhere which are actual working fabrication machines. There are old jars with wooden corks, a big mining claw, and a gargoyle sitting on the bar. It feels eerily claustrophobic yet extremely comfortable – you just feel like you have a bigger edge at this bar. Its the type of place where you don’t know if you should run for your life or order a beer.
A long time ago this was only a fabrication shop. Ash used to have friends stop by with bottles of wine and watch him work late into the night. Awhile later Ash decided to open the shop as a bar at night, and the rest is history. His name is everywhere in the Bangkok nightlife scene.
The name Iron Fairies comes from a children’s book written by Ash. It has a JRR Tolkien feel and looks like an old Di Vinci sketchbook. There are 3 volumes in total. The books, and the iron fairy trinkets he makes are sold to more than 22 countries. You can buy the whole set right there at the bar. When asked why he wrote a children’s book Ash says, “It’s not really a children’s book, it’s just that they’re the only ones who can understand it.” And after reading the first page, he has a point.
The bar menu is basic and Ash says the Big Beef Burger is the specialty; the drinks consist of basic mixes (whiskey, vodka, etc) and beers. The crowd is mostly classy, high society Thais and Foreigners, and a few artists mixed in which means there’s a potential for a boring time but also a potential for pointless discussions. Live jazz music plays most nights.
When asked what he wants to give his customers that no other bar gives, the tattooed, yet clean cut owner replies, “Nothing.” Seriously dude? You have a giant fucking mining claw above your bar.
395 Sukumvit Soi 55 (Thong Lor)
Open 6pm – 2am
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