For a long time, Bangkok’s Sukhumvit Soi 11 had a reputation of cheap drinks plied by booze trucks and seedy sports bars. Today, you’ll find that it’s had its turn through the gentrification cycle – institutions like Old German Beerhouse have revamped alongside classier neighbours such as cocktail bars #FindThePhotoBooth and more recently, KONKORD.
This new kid on the block is a collaboration between Thailand craft cocktail pioneer Sitthan “Turk” Sa-Nguankun, who also created Q&A, Sugar Ray You’ve Just Been Poisoned, and Alone Together amongst others, and the duo behind behind tiki joint Tropic City (No. 31 on Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2019) – Philip Stefanescu and Sebastian De La Cruz. Their goal? To add to the Bangkok bar scene an modern-retro style cocktail bar with intimate club vibes that gives equal attention to the drinks and to the music. While they might still be working some things out two weeks after their grand opening, we’d say they’ve mostly gotten it down.
We didn’t pay a visit to the front bar – since the party was clearly in the back – but we hear they’ll be serving small bites and classic cocktails inspired by the aperitivo culture of Southern Europe. KONKORD looks like what people in the 80s would have imagined the future to look like, with plenty of curves around the room, dark furniture, and a huge neon sign. The high stools by the bar are actually comfortable (for a change), and so we started our night.
It wouldn’t surprise you to know that KONKORD’s signature cocktails are named after songs beloved by the team. Feel-good tune Young Folks (THB330) by Swedish trio Peter Bjorn and John was encapsulated by their take on an easy-going whisky highball with Jameson whiskey, homemade spiced apple cordial, and soda. The nicely rounded spice blend of ginger, chili, cardamom, and cinnamon complements the whiskey, so it almost feels like we were drinking liquefied apple pie (in a good way).
If you love layered aromas from your cocktail, we’d highly recommend SpottieOttieDopalicious (THB350), also one of hip hip duo Outkast’s most sincere verses about the club life. And not to mention – mint, honey, pineapple, lemon, peach, and vanilla-infused vodka? This is one easy to fall in love with. Those looking for the more spirit forward will find it in the whiskey-based Poetic Justice (390); that absinthe finish might hit you but at least it’s balanced by the caramel pear infusion, raspberry cordial, and chocolate bitters.
With a set up like a club, it’s unsurprising that KONKORD also does a bustling trade in the bottles that lean heavily towards whisky and gin. Prices are reasonable and include six bottles of mixers. And while they can make drinks like Negronis and Old Fashioneds on the fly, we like that they’re bringing back lesser known classics like the Rum & Brandy Crusta (THB420). That sugar rim hit the sweet spot, not only in flavour, but also in balance with the seven-year old rum, Martell VSOP cognac, and sour cherry liqueur.
The music line-up at KONKORD so far has been eclectic, with DJs playing on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights 10pm till late across genres such as soul funk, hip-hop, reggae, dancehall, and nu-disco. See their Facebook Page for headliners of the week!
KONKORD is located at 18 Soi Sukhumvit 11, Khlong Toei Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, p. +66 64 709 9817. Open Mon-Thu 8pm-2am, Fri-Sat 8pm-3am, Sun 8pm-2am. Nearest BTS Station is Nana.