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Oldest Gogo In Bangkok

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Rick Menard owned the grand Prix. He ran it for over 20 years, then sold out and moved to Las Vegas. It was a small bar at first, until he bought out the Horny Toad bar next door and tore out the wall.



Grand Prix Bar - Rick Menard RIP



Rick Menard, who founded and managed the Grand Prix Bar on Patpong, one of Thailand's first sports bars for expatriates and the bar that introduced a-go-go dancing to Thailand, died from cancer earlier this month in Las Vegas, Nevada.


Before coming to Thailand, Menard had served with the US military where in 1962 he had been stationed in Nha Trang, Vietnam and where he had become the first serving US serviceman to be legally married to a Vietnamese national.


After leaving the military in 1966, Menard joined a civilian company in Vietnam where he stayed until mid-1968 before he was transferred to Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat) in Thailand.


Later he came to Bangkok where he met Udom Patpong and decided to open a bar. The Grand Prix Cocktail Lounge and Bar was born in a converted gift shop on Patpong Road.


For over 22 years, since its opening in February 1969, the Grand Prix was a hub of nightlife on Patpong Road and many international sports stars passed through its doors.


These included Formula One motor racing champion Jackie Stewart of Scotland, boxing promoter Don King, World Boxing Council president Jose Sulaiman, world heavyweight champion Pinklon Thomas and light welterweight champion Saul Mamby.


Other big name visitors had included Mr and Mrs Walter Cronkite, Bob Hope, Tennessee Williams and actor Willem Dafoe.


Menard, who was a great boxing fan, retired from owning and managing the Grand Prix in April 1991 and moved to Las Vegas where his two daughters, then seven and nine years old, could get good schooling.


He died in a Nevada hospital on April 16.


One of the 1st people I met on the "strip" when I arrived in '86, a really nice guy. Always kept very close tabs on the bookies in Vegas for all the major US sporting events!!




And as I'd said, he didn't "introduced" gogo, but he was the first to make it work. He deserves plenty of credit for that.

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What's the oldest running go-go in Bangkok?


Off the top of my head, in Nana probably Sexy Night is the oldest which started around 1986, and Tilac in Soi Cowboy which started around the same time. Flash would know more about the Patpong bars. Doesn't SuperStar date back to the '70s - but I have a feeling it has moved location.....Flash would be the guy to confirm that.

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