Openly serving alcohol in restaurants during the current booze ban may be fine (with a bribe) to Bangkok police along the Sukhumvit strip, but not so much elsewhere in town, as 93 punters found out Monday night.
Pathumwan police raided the Tapas Music Bar on Rama I Road after 10 p.m. last night when the “restaurant” was supposed to close to allow patrons to go home before the 11 p.m. curfew.
Instead, 29 men and 64 women were still at their tables, boozing it up without masks and in close quarters, in violation of coronavirus-control measures and the Emergency Decree.
All were detained and tested for Covid-19, after which they were charged with decree violations that could cost them more than 12,000 baht each, based on recent fines from illegal bar raids.
Tapas’ owner also was charged with selling alcoholic beverages during the current ban.
Police said neighbors of the hotspot located in Groove at Central World, ratted out the owner to police, claiming Tapas was a Spanish word for “coronavirus superspreader”.
It wasn’t like the management wasn’t warned. Pathumwan chief Pol. Col. Phansa Amaraphitak told the media that officers visited the bar on Sunday and told them to follow all regulations. But Tapas opened the next night with booze flowing freely anyway.
In some parts of town, the Sunday visit would have been a solicitation for a “donation” that would allow police to slip the neighbor’s complaint to the bottom of the paperwork pile.
But sometimes that doesn’t work, as showed Saturday when Lumpini Police Station cops raided the XOXO Restobar on Sukhumvit Soi 12 and arrested 116 drunk people dancing under disco lights.