The Duke of Wellington was sold to new owners and now operates under the name of The Pintsman.
Congratulations to the new owner and best wishes on running a successful restaurant at the old location of The Duke of Wellington.
An anonymous reader reported that the Duke of Wellington—Crown Jewel of the Mango Empire, has closed and been abandoned.
The doors are locked, the furniture and fixtures have been torn out, and the interior has been gutted.
Looters have even stripped some of the nice wood off the exterior facade.
As usual, BigBabyKenny.com has the exclusive photos.
For the casual readers, the Duke of Wellington was a Silom English Pub bankrolled by the original owner’s of The Big Mango and a frequently self proclaimed billionaire Petroleum Engineer.
The Duke was rumored to have been bleeding money after internal political turmoil and the world wide recession forced the Thai tourist industry onto life support.
The owners and primary investor have always maintained publicly that the Duke was earning a handsome return on their investment.
Alleged, although, never confirmed the Duke was initially opened at a cost in excess of $200,000 USD and never really got off the ground.
The lease was renegotiated to lower the monthly rent, some minor improvements were made, and The Duke of Wellington was publicly advertised for sale in the Fall of 2009.
This is the original internet listing for the sale.
Bangkok English Pub Listing ID# BKK13705
(UPDATE!) A porch with an awning has recently been added at the front of the pub. The new lease has now been signed with rent reduced to 447,000 baht per month, which is all inclusive as before.) This well patronised English Pub sits in the heart of Bangkok. The pub has four large screen televisions and a digital projector for watching sport. A full menu is provided, including snacks, English food, Thai food, and desserts. Apart from draft beer the pub offers a large selection of imported and domestic bottled beers, while also serving a wide range of cocktails, fine whiskies, coffees and a selection of wines by the glass and bottle. Well established, the enterprise is roomy enough to accommodate up to 130 customers as it has floor space measuring roughly 230 square metres.
Average monthly net profits of approximately 75,000 baht are currently being garnered, but financial results have been on the increase over the last couple of years (receipts increased from 14,400,000 baht in 2007 to 16,800,000 baht in 2008). So far early results in 2009 have seen receipts average approximately 1,260,000 baht per month. Assets worth 6,000,000 baht will be included in the sale, along with an inventory of stock that is normally worth in the region of 350,000 baht. Monthly rent totals 537,672 baht (which includes rent, service, storage rental, air-conditioning costs, power, water and gas bills) but is due to decrease when a new lease is signed in November (now signed, see update above). The other significant expense is the monthly wage bill, which totals 150,000 baht per month for 15 full time employees.
The owners currently have a few other business ventures in Thailand and would like to spend more of their time on these other businesses. The pub was managed until recently by a very experienced bar manager who has just recently moved back to England, meaning additional time is now being spent on the management and marketing of the bar, thereby detracting from the owners’ other businesses and forcing them to come to a decision to sell the bar. The bar enjoys a steady stream of new and regular customers but needs management and marketing attention to continue its growth. Asking price: 8,500,000 baht.
No buyer or sale was ever publicly announced or confirmed and given that the interior has been torn out, most likely one was never found.
The lease most likely expired or was abandoned and the landlord is preparing the space for a new leaseholder.
One can only speculate that the owners and investors lost their initial investment plus more as the bar bled money month after month as the prospects of a sale dwindled.
Retired blogger Werewolf wrote this review of the Duke of Wellington in April of 2008 and maybe it serves as a fitting epithet.
Located on a very busy section of Silom Road is one of the best-run pubs in Bangkok: The Duke of Wellington. An English Pub, the Duke is managed by a real Englishman — Mark — who previously ran Robin Hood near Phrom Phong BTS station on Sukhumvit Road.
The Duke has a very nice decor, with comfortable heavy wooden tables & chairs, as well as leather-padded benches along the wall opposite the bar. For people who are alone, or in a casual mood, there is a long table with stools. It is usually occupied by men or women reading the newspaper or working on laptop computers (the Duke offers free wireless access).
Happy Hour runs from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. every weeknight & all day on the weekends, and on Wednesdays you can drink pints of Tiger beer all night at a price of 80 baht each (Monday is Heineken night and Tuesday Guiness night).
With a well-trained service staff, an excellent food menu offering large portions of Western & Thai food day and night, attractive drink prices and very comfortable surroundings, the Duke of Wellington has been one of my favorite meeting points since it opened in January this 2007.
I went in with a new friend a few month ago. He had visited the pub before, but only around four in the afternoon when it is quiet. Arriving at 7:30 pm, with happy hour in full swing, my friend was impressed with everything he saw and tasted.
The Duke had recently added live music to the mix. A Thai man with a guitar and a good sound system started playing tunes around 8 p.m. Unlike many Thais singing English songs, he knew all of the words and sang clearly. I was sitting with my back to him, and at one point he sang a Jim Croce tune. It sounded so much like Croce that I thought that he’d gone on break and that a CD was playing. I was wrong. Anyone who mourns Croce need mourn no longer — he’s been reborn in Thailand as a local guitar-picker.
All the food on the menu is good, but my personal favorite is the Big Duke Burger; a large beef patty served with cheese, bacon, a fried egg and all the trimmings. You can choose between English-style thick-cut chips or American shoe-string fries.
Even a 5 star rating from Bangkok’s most notorious celebrity blogger was not enough to make The Duke of Wellington profitable in today’s difficult business environment.