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Maenam has more than a handful of bars where you can enjoy sports, the more exotic aspects of nightlife in Thailand and some have an ocean views. But if beach boozing is not your thing and you are not after the exotic and you don’t want to be in bars that promise to have the very best of everything and leave feeling short changed by their empty promises then try Barbs.
Barb’s is on the main ring road opposite Dan Auto. Not that you would really know you were on the main road, as its pretty quiet once you are inside and the road has very little traffic. Barb’s opened eight years ago by convivial landlord Steve who has gained quite a reputation as an all round good chap in the village and is much loved for his no nonsense approach to his customers, many of whom have become his friends.
Steve certainly does not pretend his bar has the best of everything, What Barb’s is, is an honest to goodness kind of a pub, here you can get a cold beer, meet some of the colourful Maenam residents, have a game of pool or watch a bit of sport on the TV. Steve is more than happy to have a bit of banter with his customers over a game of football, rugby or tennis or a even spot of motor sport and is also happy challenge anybody to an eight ball clearance on the pool table. If pool and sport is not your thing then there is an excellent outdoor terrace where you can watch the world go by and there is a small library if you fancy putting your nose into a good book.
The drinks are very reasonably priced in Barb’s and there is a good selection of spirits, beers, cocktails and very some very quaffable wine. Barb’s has the only coffee making machine on the island that cannot be distinguished from a JVC music centre dragged out of the eighties that links up to a fabulous surround sound system. Whether it’s soft drinks, booze or coffee you have ordered your drinks will come with a winning smile from experienced bar maid Suwang who has worked at many of the bars in Maenam and has become great friends with all of the local customers.
Out the back of the Bar is a very nice beer garden that is not currently being used but there are plans afoot to add some furniture and do something rather special to this area that is currently home to a big blue barrel and an Indian Tandor, it has nothing if not potential.
But it’s not the reasonably priced beer, or the future potential of the beer garden, or even the immaculate toilet or the view of the main road that makes this pub really special it is the people that frequent Barb’s that make it such a fascinating place to hang out. This is a place where there is always some lively banter from the locals who seem to be a permanent feature, and clearly bounce really well off one another. Having said that, this is not a bar that does not welcome strangers, far from it, Steve is always delighted to see new faces and very quickly gives them the same sort of welcome his regular customers get and in seconds you will feel like part of the family.
If you are in Maenam then Barb’s is well worth a visit and if you manage to spot Barb’s secret leprechaun, that cheekily grins from his not too noticeable secret location, then Steve will give you a free beer! So make sure you get in and have a really good poke about!
Barb’s is open from 4pm every day other than Tuesdays. There are often lively pool games on a Monday as they are part of the pool league, unless they are playing away, it’s usually dead on Thursdays due to walking street so ideal if you want a quiet drink away from the masses and Friday night is killer pool night and always a whole heap of fun.