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Flames consume the Phuket landmark where expats once consumed beer

Blaze Razes Popular Phuket Expat Landmark Beergarden

Sunday, February 26, 2012
UPDATE

CANADIAN co-owner Gregg Layton, 51, said he and his Thai girlfriend, asleep on the second floor, were awakened by cries of ''Fai mai! Fair mai! (fire! fire!) and escaped. Forensics police are expected to establish the cause. One suspect could be a female member of staff who was sacked on Saturday. Mr Layton briefly needed oxygen.

Original Report

PHUKET: The Kamala Beergarden was destroyed in a four-million baht blaze that consumed the local Phuket landmark early today, distressing its new Thai-Canadian owners.

A pall of smoke engulfed the main street of Kamala, north of Patong on Phuket's west coast, as fire trucks fought the blaze for 30 minutes before extinguishing it.

Guests from the nearby White Hotel and other accommodation in the village centre on the main Kamala-Kalim coast road joined onlookers as flames lit up the night.

The expat part-owner was at the scene as dawn broke today, looking distressed and unwilling to talk to the media.

Kamala Beergarden, bought for a price said to be in the region of four million baht just months ago, has been a popular haunt in Kamala for at least a decade.

Today it was smoke and ashes. Fire trucks from Kamala, Patong and Cherng Talay poured water into the beergarden.

Firemen were not prepared to speculate on the cause of the blaze, which broke out about 5am.

Yet to note the ownership change, the Beergarden's online site says: ''Belgian owner Rudi established the Beergarden in 2001. Traditional Thai styles combine with modern fittings to provide a relaxing environment in which to enjoy a meal or a drink.

''Recently the Beergarden has been refurbished and expanded to include an outside dining area, a separate Cocktail Bar, extra seating and new furnishings. The addition of two pool tables offers further entertainment.

''Rudi seems to have a knack of finding the friendliest people to work with him, and the waitresses and bar staff deliver excellent service, always in a gracious manner and with beautiful smiles.''

The bar complex, open from 2pm to 2am seven days a week, was popular with expats from surrounding coastal destinations.

Comments

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While I didn't go there very much over the years the few times I did the Thai staff were great and the food was terrific. Hope you're able to rebuild it will be a shame otherwise.

Posted by mike williams on February 26, 2012 10:59

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Landmark, a beergarden? maby for sexpats and alcoholics

Posted by KL on February 26, 2012 12:12

Editor Comment:

Perhaps you missed this:
PHUKETWAN hereby alters its policy on the posting of Comments and bans whingers, whiners, do-nothings, dingbats, doomsayers, carpers, harpers and kooks. This list may grow with time. Constructive ideas and new pieces of information remain welcome.

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Editor Comment:

Perhaps you missed this:
PHUKETWAN hereby alters its policy on the posting of Comments and bans whingers, whiners, do-nothings, dingbats, doomsayers, carpers, harpers and kooks. This list may grow with time. Constructive ideas and new pieces of information remain welcome.

I hope you have included yourself in this list?

Posted by Nip on February 26, 2012 13:20

Editor Comment:

I'm not a whinger, a whiner, a do-nothing, a dingbat, a doomsayer, a carper, a harper, or a kook, Nip. But some commenters fit almost every category.

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Very sad to see the Beer Garden go in such a fashion. I and my friends have spent many happy evenings with and without our Thai wives in Rudi's company. So sad to see its ignominious end.

Posted by Robert Boyd on February 26, 2012 16:23

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Sad to see it gone. It was a popular meeting point for people from all over the island. On my past visits to Phuket, I lived in Karon, but often made the trip 'over the hill' (bypassing Patong ASAP I might add) to meet up with friends there for food & beverage in a clean & friendly atmosphere. I do hope the new owner has the wherewithal to rebuild it as it was.

Posted by Logic on February 26, 2012 16:58


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