Pattaya restaurant busted operating after curfew as a nightclub

PHOTO: A Pattaya restaurant was busted acting as a nightclub afterhours. (via video screencap)

In a familiar scene lately as Thailand toes the line between Covid-19 safety and restarting the tourism economy by relaxing alcohol bans in select areas around the country, a restaurant essentially operating as a bar on South Pattaya Road was shut down last night for violating the Chon Buri Communicable Disease Control order.

Dripoly restaurant in Pattaya was raided just after midnight after the police received calls from the public to their hotline with complaints about the Covid-19 risk the business presented. The restaurant appeared to be operating as a nightclub with loud music and low lighting, ignoring curfew. Under current regulations, restaurants can serve alcohol but must close by 11 pm and maintain a restaurant environment that follows social distancing and other Covid-19 regulations, focuses on food, and is well-lit.

When police arrived at 12:20 am, customers were dancing to the loud music and drinking alcohol, with several customers seen without masks. Officers stopped the music and turned on the lights which they described as lighting in the style of a nightclub environment. Details were unconfirmed, but the owner was said to be taken to the police station to be charged and it is unclear if any patrons faced any charges in the raid.

Raids have been common around the Pattaya area with permission for restaurants to serve alcohol recently being granted in only certain areas of the Chon Buri province, causing frustration and confusion as other areas remain banned from serving any alcohol.

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But all nightlife and entertainment venues including all bars, nightclubs, karaoke, gentlemen’s clubs, and similar are forbidden from opening at all, until at least January 15 when the issue will be revisited by the CCSA. Many nightlife venues have responded by becoming a makeshift restaurant, offering basic food for sale to justify opening and operating.

Many businesses have complained that the restrictions and enforcement of rules have been erratic and inconsistent with some areas and businesses targeted for constant raids while others seem to be allowed to operate while authorities look the other way.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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