Robert Rystrom is the owner of Hua Hin’s latest rooftop bar and lounge, the doors will be opening at the end of this month. During this interview, he talks about how this venture began and what customers can expect.
Why did you decide to open a rooftop lounge?
Before I moved to Thailand about 13 years ago, I made myself a promise to never buy or operate a bar here. I had heard all the stories of people losing their money and going home broke. However after having lived in Bangkok for almost 10 years, I rarely saw quality bars shut down. After living in Hua Hin for the last 2 years, I missed a place that you could go and socialise and wind down after a busy day’s work. So the idea came up to try and do something different to the beer bars and offer quality drinks somewhere with a pleasant ambience accompanied by live music or DJs. We found the perfect spot on top of G Hua Hin Resort & Mall!
What is the style of the place?
We will strive to be a place where tourists and locals can socialisein an environment similar to the best bars in Bangkok. We will have live bands playing and also DJs. East really has two sections;a bar section where you can sit and enjoy the live band playing or you can relax in the lounge area with our large comfortable sofas.
What will you be serving?
We are focusing on quality cocktails and other drinks. The motto is ‘quality over quantity’, meaning we take time to prepare every cocktail. Additionally twoof our quality drinks will be the equivalent of threeelsewhere. You can also choose if you want 3cc or 5cc of alcohol in each drink, something we haven’t seen here before. We will also serve easy finger foods and creative snacks to accompany the drinks. We are not really a restaurant, but it’s always nice to have something small to eat with drinks when you are socialising.
So many bars fail in their first year; how do you think you will survive?
I believe that the quality we will provide will make customers come back, together of course with some creative marketing. There will also be many social events throughout the year; I am positive that we will survive the first year and thrive!
What is your experience in the field
To be honest I have mostly been on the other side of the bar, however our Manager has several years of experience as both an F&B Manager and bartender restaurants in Sweden and cruise ships. He has created a fantastic list of unique signature drinks that have to be tried.
Can you give us an example?
Well, a theme has been to play with spicy and sweet ingredients and as we are in Thailand, chili and wasabi are some of the ingredients. Come in and try our special Chili Caipirinha or Wasabi Martini
What are your operating hours?
Initially we will open at 5pm and close at 2am Robert has described ‘East’ as a new lounge experience soon to be realised. The ‘bar is being raised’ (to the roof top!), offering something different to attract a discerning Hua Hin patronage. Our thanks to Robert for his time; we’ll keep our eye on developments and keep our readers updated as ‘East’ progresses.