For all the boom in nightlife in different parts of Silom, Sathorn and Sukhumvit – and let’s not forget some of the authentically scruffy spots dotted around Khao San Rd – it’s arguable that RCA remains one of Bangkok’s premier nightlife districts. There’s not much on Phetchaburi Rd that offers any indication of what lies in store along Royal City Avenue. And even at the top of the strip it appears fairly nondescript, the rows of taxis waiting in the shadows offering the only hint of the hubbub inside.
Of course, those who venture in on foot will find a wide selection of bars and clubs to choose from – everything from small diners with live music to sprawling nightclubs with several different areas. And, as it happens, Onyx is the latest addition to this milieu. Located at the far end of RCA – that is, the end closest to the expressway – Onyx is an upscale nightclub that borrows more than a touch from the futuristic, designed-driven interior of Bed Supperclub.
Part of the appeal of RCA is that it’s one of the rare spots is Bangkok where Thais and expats party alongside one another. Unlike many of the hot spots along Sukhumvit, it hasn’t been completely overrun by farangs. This appears doubly true of Onyx, where the crowd is overwhelmingly Thai.
The club is laid out over two storeys, although most of the action appears confined to the ground floor, where the main floor is dominated by a dozen small tables and the walls lined with more secluded sofas.
The main feature, though, is the giant video screen that looms large over the DJ booth. Along with the LCD lighting that periodically sets the ceiling ablaze with neon, it ensures that, at least visually, Onyx creates a dynamic impression. The challenge, though, is to create an atmosphere that matches the spectacle and, in a space that is a little one-dimensional, that may prove tricky on quieter nights.
Still, there’s plenty to like about Onyx – they take their cocktails seriously and, if they’re able to book some big acts, should be able to develop a loyal following. Speaking of big acts, Taiwanese DJ Ellie has been confirmed to play on July 5. So if you’ve been meaning to revisit RCA, that could be the perfect opportunity.
RCA, Soi Soonvijai, Rama 9 Rd | 081-645-1166