Eating/Drinking  •  Work in Progress

Work in Progress: Tropic City

We catch up with the owners of the soon-to-open cocktail bar Tropic City for an exclusive on what’s to come and what to expect when it opens this September.

Photography
August 24, 2017
The latest edition to Bangkok’s ever-flourishing cocktail bar scene is Tropic City, but the catch is that it has yet to open. The city’s very first tropical cocktail bar Tropic City is not necessarily a Tiki bar; it features a mix and match of tropical influences from around the world, drawing inspiration from numerous countries close to the equator.

The brainchild of the creative bartending duo Sebastian De la Cruz and Philip Stefanescu, Tropic City offers something very different to the dark and moody bars that have been the trend around town: think floral murals and a bright color scheme. This Charoenkrung watering hole allows one to escape the city and become fully immersed in the tropics with drinks ranging from Tiki-influenced concoctions to spiced spirit-forward cocktails. “It’s a tropical cocktail bar with a rum focus,” Sebastian and Philip state in near unison.

After a year in the making, Tropic City is set to officially open in September, joining the already established “it neighborhood” and its diverse and unique community of gallerists, restaurateurs, artists and more. While the very name Tropic City is more or less self explanatory, Sebastian and Philip explain that it is also an homage to the city of angels: “You can interpret the name in different ways but it’s not just about escape: we see it as a representation of the ‘concrete jungle’ that is Bangkok too,” says 29-year old Philip.

The bartender pair moved to Bangkok in 2014, working initially with the Sapparot Group at their outlets Lady Brett restaurant and Uncle cocktail bar. After adding their own flair to the establishments, together they launched Uncle Cocktail bar in Thonglor (now closed and reconceptualized as Bar Savoy) while Sebastian was behind the cocktail program at Touché Hombre at 72 Courtyard.

“I had just finished up a project in Sweden with Philip and I was looking for a new adventure. I got offered a job here [in Bangkok]. I accepted and was asked to bring a friend. Now three years later, we are opening up our own bar together,” says the 30-year old Sebastian. The duo had already made a name for themselves in Sweden, working in some of the most respected cocktail bars in the capital, such as Hotel Reisen and Sjögräs restaurant.

To create the complete package and complement each other’s strengths, the pair has struck up a collaboration with the young and creative chefs of 80/20, creating a tropical-inspired menu with smaller bites, entrees, and desserts that are unlike anything previously seen in the city.

Set to change the bar scene of Bangkok once it’s officially open, Tropic City will surely add something unique to the capital. A creative force to be reckoned with, this is one grand opening not to be missed. See you in September!