Yes Bar and Restaurant opened in early 2016. It is the latest cool bar to open in Koh Phangan. It seems that Yes Bar is following the lead set by places such as L’Alcove in Hin Kong, Fisherman’s Restaurant in Baan Tai and Belgium Beer Bar in Haad Chao Phao in offering customers something a bit different to the usual Koh Phangan restaurant experience.
The backpackers might be confined to the Full Moon week, and indeed many of them will not even have backpacks, but the mindset of the locals catering for visitors to Koh Phangan is still very much geared to providing a backpacker quality experience. The service needn’t be super speedy; there’s no need for expensive interior design when beach rustic is so easily done; foreigners love cushions on the floor and plastic or bamboo outdoor furniture; a standard Thai / Western menu is all that is needed; and just basic English language skills rounds off the fun cultural interaction. There is a lot to be said for this paradigm but travel has moved on.
The challenge now is to provide cool spots for both the budget travellers and high-end guests to enjoy. Hippies notoriously don’t spend much. They prefer to get a beer from a 7-11 and sit on the beach and drink it. The post hippy travelling generation are more consumer orientated. They use social media to hunt out spots for coffee, authentic and unusual food, recommended DJs, the best yoga drop in lessons and the most radical water sports action. It seems a book, a hammock, a cheap bungalow near a beach and a bag of contraband flora is no longer enough. The new generation want to do something cool and immediately capture it on a phone and post it.
The new paradigm is giving something different, and adding value. The Yes Bar and Restaurant fulfils this criteria by offering better facilities at a beach restaurant. The owners are Thai and Dutch. They speak 3 languages excellently and go out of their way to please customers. Yes, they still have basic wooden tables on the beach but they also have stylish indoor seating. Yes, they serve Thai curries but they lift their cooking with better ingredients and better plating up. Yes, they have sun loungers but unlike other beach bars they also have a shower for those who want to wash the salt water off before enjoying something to eat and drink. And Yes, they play reggae music but it is really good reggae music, and there are no Thai rent-a-rastas around.
Many of the old Koh Phangan clichés have been avoided by Yes Bar and Restaurant. It is early days for this start up restaurant but we wish them success. The fact that they are very close to Blue Dream Hostel and directly on the beach can only help.
Address: 110/17 Moo 1 | Ban Tai Beach, Koh Phangan