BANGKOK — Retro vinyls, playful cocktails inspired by James Dean, and groovy lighting are the name of the game at Bar Marco, a newly opened hangout spot in Thonglor.
A DJ table and a wall of vinyls greets the customer at “Bar Marco,” which opened late November at Thonglor Soi 20 with a vague 50s to 70s theme.
“It’s like hanging at a friend’s house, not drinking serious cocktails,” senior bartender Danuwat Into, 31, said. “The host has to welcome his friends, both old and new.”
Danuwat said he hopes Bar Marco is somewhere on the range between a serious cocktail bar and flashy EDM clubs. The bar is by the same team behind Rabbit Hole, Michelin-starred fine dining Canvas, and draft tea cocktail bar Draft Land.
“We imagined that this is Marco’s house, this guy who loves to party,” Danuwat said. “Marco’s parents are into interior design and architecture, so that’s why the place looks like this.”
Cocktails are in the 300 to 400 baht range. We enjoyed the “130 Little Bastard” (330 baht) a coconut rum drink with absinthe and cacao liqueur named after James Dean’s silver Porsche 550 Spyder. The burnt wafer on top brought back memories of childhood of snacking on cheap snacks, or perhaps the imagined carefree nostalgia of the 50s.
“Rebel Without a Cause” (396 baht) seemed a tad expensive for a sake cup with yuzu sake, gin, vermouth, and ice, but “Daydream Eyes” (308 baht) continued the sweet-loving trend with a grape bitter milk punch with elderflower tonic that reminds one of Yakult.
Our least favorite of the drinks we tried was the “Non-Ban-Puen” (418 baht), a puzzling combo of spiced rum, Campari, and sweet vermouth that was reminiscent of strange coffee.
Still, the decor was impressively in-theme – the fake vinyls on the tables (the ones on the wall are real though), seating booths, and lampshades of little mirror beads transported us from the Thong Lor soi into the imagined past for a short evening.
Bar Marco also plans to have live DJs soon to make use of the bar’s vinyl collection.
Bar Marco is open 6pm to 1am every day and is located in Soi Thonglor 20, a motorcycle ride from BTS Thong Lo. This review is based on a hosted visit.