Neon nirvana for neighbourhood nighthawks
In the community-mall-cumentertainment-center rage in Thonglor, 72 Courtyard has upped the stakes with a gaggle of bars, gastropubs, and clubs scattered about the open-plan, concrete-andsteel complex. Evil Man Blues, one of the latest to open, occupies a groundfloor box kitted out to resemble an Art Deco American diner—the kind inspired by streamliner train cars, with a long narrow space and a barrel-vault roofline. A bar-and-stool counter, along with striking neon, uplights, and chrome accents, complete the effect. Take a stool, order a Manhattan, and imagine yourself in Edward Hopper’s iconic 1942 painting “Nighthawks.”
American mixologist Liam Baer, the brains behind the bar, picked up his skills in New York, including a stint at Chinatown’s famed Apoteke. Baer’s drink credo can be summarized in one sentence, “If you can’t taste the spirit, for me it’s not a proper cocktail.” The bar stocks only top-shelf spirits, housemade mixers, and fresh garnishes.
Baer starts me off with a cocktail that earned him a spot in 101 Best Cocktails, an annual selection by Gaz Regan, the Keith Richards of the cocktail world. Innocently called Honey Badger (B390), the amberhued ambrosia mixes rosemaryinfused bourbon with yellow Chartreuse, honey syrup, ginger, and lemon bitters. If you’ve come down with a rainy-season cold, this should cure it. After I confess I’m partial to bourbon, Baer offers Jetlagged (B490), a misty place where bourbon, Grand Marnier, and sweet vermouth meet and fall in love.
It takes me a moment to catch the joke in the name of the next cocktail—Rum Inside Me, I’m on the Dill (B390). Although seemingly not as spirit-forward as the previous drinks, in fact it contains both gin and rum (the highly aromatic Chalong Bay, Thailand’s own), along with green Chartreuse, dill, cucumber, lemon, grapefruit soda, and a dash of salt. This is an all-rounder that should please tipplers of any age, gender, or sexual orientation.
A concise bar food menu— created by chef Steven Yook—is available to soak up the fumes as you streamline through the neon night. We enjoy a homey plate of Mac N Cheese Balls (B220), balls of crabmeat rolled with Cajun flavours, and the signature Evil Man Burger (B360), a hearty beef patty stacked with cheddar, bacon, lettuce, tomato, truffle mayo, roasted onions and mushrooms. If you need a healthy option, the Ballroom Salad (B220) combines Japanese eggplant, pumpkin, broccoli, and cauliflower, and should ease your guilt. But prepare to sin again with a dessert of Guss Damn Good (B150), an icy concoction of olive oil, bourbon and yuzu sorbets.
Music-wise, the regular playlist emphasizes funk and R&B, and every Friday renowned jazz guitarist Dan Philips and his Bangkok Edge Quartet play heady sets of challenging and original music.
Evil Man Blues
GF, 72 Courtyard (Sukhumvit Soi 55)
Tel: 02 392 7740
Open: Tues-Sun, 6pm-2am