Sihanoukville News and Gossip

gossipQuite a bit going on in town, despite the slow down due to the Rainy Season.

Couple of good parties last week, both giving away Free Beer! Firstly, I thought i’d call down and see my mate Elvin from Pacino’s Bar, turns out it was his birthday (61 years young). Turns out he forget to tell me about it, so much for our friendship! Then again, it was my birthday two days before and I didn’t tell him I guess.

Anyway, stayed there for a few hours and had a great time, always a fun guy to be around. Does throw a great party too, free draught beer, inexpensive spirits, good selection of finger food, party hats, great music and a friendly crowd. I may have my next birthday party there!

Turns out there was actually two parties on the same night though, and a few of us made the semi-reluctant move over to Angelo’s Restaurant a short walk away. AndrĂ© has decided to close Angelo’s to concentrate his efforts in other areas. A sad shame, as Angelo’s was a popular eatery offering an excellent Mixed Grill and amazing Cocacola Ribs.

Free Beer and Spirits was the order here, basically everything had to go and the staff made a concerted effort to force as much drink into everyone as they could. In the end it was the ‘mixers’ that went first ….. anyone for Jack Daniel’s ‘red’ with Tonic? eventually moving to Gin and Sprite.

No Free Food, or if there was, we arrived too late. Though André was seen Steve from Star Design with peanuts, from a range of about 20ft!

Ann’s Bar (sorry Ann’s Pub and Restaurant) has closed down, sadly it seems the Thai staff have decided to return to Thailand. Shame as it appeared that the place was starting to ‘take off’.

Jack’s Shack down on Ochheuteal Beach was taken over by the team from Chivas Shack as far as evening business went. The locaton of Chivas Shack being right down at the southern most point of Ochheuteal Beach meant business had dropped off and being right next door to the Dolphin Shack was thought a much better location.

It seemed to work, as I’d never seen the place so busy, they certainly took a lot of trade from the Dolphin. Sadly it wasn’t to last and after a few weeks they’ve handed Jack’s Shack back to the owner Jack. Have to say that i’m secretly pleased as the music wasn’t really my scene. As much as I hate to admit, the music at the Dolphin is a much better mix.

Jack’s Shack itself though attracts a good regular crowd of expats and long term visitors, it’s also a good, inexpensive, eating place for travelers.

The Ocean’s Hotel was raided by the Police where they found illegal drugs in the room of the owner Ronald (Ron) Haswell, as well as at least one of the guests. Strong words were exchanged and within the hour Ron was on his way to Thailand. The other guest, I’ve heard, slipped off to Vietnam.

The Oceans Hotel and the sickeningly named ‘Daddys Bar’ have now reverted back to the Khmer landlord but nobody, as yet, knows what his plans are.

Another ‘landmark’ business has closed, The Pocoloco Nightclub down near the Golden Lions. It really is a great shame that this bar never reached its full potential, and it genuinely wasn’t down to lack of effort on behalf of the owners.

On a positive side, a few new hotels have opened in recent months. The New World Hotel, Czech owned, on Ekareach Street, Aahaa! Guesthouse on the same road as the Golden Lion Plaza and Hooha House in between the two.

Its rumoured that this road is going to be the link to the Airport (when it opens) so if this is the case, it’s a very good move.

Beach Bar Wars

Nothing to do with Sihanouville!

Nothing to do with Sihanouville!

Can’t keep up with the changes down on the beach at the moment, subletting, multiple partnerships, new bars and many rumours!

Sessions Bar have purchased a new bar in the Golden Lion Complex, they advertised a grand opening night which sadly I wasn’t able to attend. Seems i’ve missed out too, as the bar hasn’t been open since, so i’m told.

Apparently though, they’ve invested in the bar because the rumours are building that work will be starting down on Ochheuateal Beach. When / if it does, it’ll shut down most if not all of the bars there. A clever move by Sessions methinks.

Dolphin shack is still banning the Taxi Girls, and any Khmer girls from dancing in the bar. Prevented at least until the place gets busy, I really fail to see the logic. I was there over Khmer New Year and the local girls were certainly in ‘Party Mode’. I saw a group of 5 girls dancing in the middle of the floor, all holding 4 dollar ‘buckets’ of drink, they were told to get off the floor by one of the staff.

Happy to say that they took themselves off to Jack’s Shack.

Speaking of Jack’s Shack, this has been taken over for an indefinite period by the team from Chivas Shack. The staff, the music, the atmosphere and the prices have changed. It’s certainly a lot busier, but to me the change isn’t for the better. Obviously everybody has a business to run though.

What is confusing though, is that there is rumoured to be a connection between the Chivas Team and the Freedom Bar, not sure exactly what the tie-in is, but apparently the Freedom Bar has an interest.

Rumours too that there is no love lost between Chivas Shack and the Dolphin Bar, you can actually ‘feel’ the competition between the two bars. Dolphin Bar has erected a screen to block off easy access to, and direct view of Jack’s Shack and the Chivas owner works like a Sheepdog rounding up stray backpackers. It’s great to watch.

One thing I have to get off my chest is the ‘Special Offers’ that are happening at Utopia and the ‘new’ Jack’s Shack. Beers for 25c sounds great, but when it’s served in a half-size plastic glass it kind of takes the edge off it. I’d happily pay, 50, 75 or even a dollar for beer down there, so PLEASE don’t try to fool people with FALSE offers.