Food News

John Kunkel on Opening of Patpong Road and Fate of Khong Fuzi

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In keeping with the sinfully chic night-market theme, the SoBe lounge will feature a cocktail program, curated by 50 Eggs beverage director Allegra Angelo, in which cocktails ($10 to $25) such as the "Laid-ee" drink, made with rum and fresh juice, are served in plastic "sippi" bags. If you're hungry, Khong's main chef, Sudarat Loasupho (also known as Mama Pai), offers re-creations of night-market street food such as pad thai, drunken rice noodles, house-made Chiang Rai sausage, Thai summer rolls, Thai doughnuts, and anything you can possibly skewer on a stick.

Because a lot has happened at 50 Eggs this summer, including chef changes and the imminent opening of Patpong Road, we spoke with John Kunkel to catch up on the developments.

New Times: When you opened Khong River House, the former Buck 15 space was going to be a place for private dinners; then it was an absinthe lounge. Now it's Patpong Road.

John Kunkel: This is something we've wanted to do since we opened Khong. We first had to open and get through the permitting process; now we're actually going farther than we originally thought. [Patpong Road is] going to be this cool little red-light district hangout space with its own bar and menu.

The space always seemed like a bar, so it should be a bar. We did some chef dinners, and we finally went all in and did what we should have done. The sound system went in last week. There's a private entrance in the back, and the whole staff is superexcited about it. We're just running it Friday and Saturday nights for now, and we want to have some fun with it.

What is the décor and the feel of the space?

We just really got inspired from the signage and the imagery of Patpong Road in Bangkok. We still have a lot of the tables and chairs that we put in storage, so if we have corporate functions we can do them, but we're really looking to have the place really be Patpong on Friday and Saturdays and then do some other creative things during the week.

We're channeling Buck 15 again. With its own entrance in the alleyway, it really does feel like the entrance to some red-light district bar in Bangkok.

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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss