Retro-themed cocktail bar references 1940’s Cuba – polished cocktails, Cuban cigars and live music
July 12th, 2016
Havana Social is a Cuban-themed speakeasy bar in Bangkok that transports guests back to the decadent nightlife of pre-revolutionary 1940’s Havana. Calling ahead for a special passcode is required to gain entry – through a faux telephone booth – revealing the meticulously crafted vintage bar space where the bartenders serve up an impressive array of rum-forward classic cocktails, and live DJs and musicians recreate the glamour and party vibe of the legendary Caribbean playground. Secreted away down a small laneway along Bangkok’s buzzing Sukhumvit Soi 11 nightlife zone, a decrepit Cubanos sandwich cart, and a colourful mural-covered facade offer clues to the whereabouts of the drinking den inside. Dimly lit, yet comfortably spacious, the main bar area has an adjoining lounge space, while a staircase leads to an exclusive upper-level cigar bar and lounge. Havana Social – launched in late 2015 – is the latest project from the prominent Bangkok F&B group Soho Hospitality – their highly-rated Above Eleven rooftop bar and Peruvian restaurant; and Charcoal Tandoor Grill & Mixology upscale Indian restaurant and cocktail bar, are located nearby.
Design Realised in fastidious detail, the interior decor of Havana Social evokes the essence of a vintage Cuban nightspot with hints of luxury juxtaposed with the distressed patina of water-stained wall surfaces and rotting ceilings. Wicker chairs are interspersed among plush velvet sofas, while the impressively substantial solid timber bar is fronted by vintage style bar stools. Upstairs, the reclusive cigar bar and lounge exudes an ambiance of understated luxe within the intimate space of around 20 seats.
Cocktails A well-conceived drinks program is centred on rum-forward cocktails, with interpretations of famous Cuban creations such as Daiquiris, Mojitos, and Cube Libre. An attractively illustrated drinks list features sophisticated versions of the classic Daiquiri; a selection of “pre-revolution” vintage cocktails elevated with aged rums and premium ingredients; while the “post-revolution” drinks include tweaks on the Negroni, and Bloody Mary. A well-curated list of superior labels and premium Reserva aged bottles caters for rum aficionados, while the well-stocked bar also offers single malts, craft beers, wines and more.
Havana Social opens daily from 6pm until late, guests need to call ahead for the access code – and no reservations are taken.