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Meet Patrick Cummings, a man from Ireland with a passion for life and Koh Samui, known to his friends as The Shadow.
Where do you come from?
I am originally from Kilkenny in southern Ireland.
How long have you been in Thailand?
I have been visiting Thailand for holidays for many years my ex wife’s family have a house here in Thailand so we would often visit. Then three years ago I decided to make it my permanent home.
What made you decide to move here?
Well I just love the place so I decided that I wanted to live here and I wanted to open a bar.
What did you did you do before you got here?
I owned a very successful taxi company back in Ireland. I love Ireland and I enjoyed running the company but I wanted a change of climate so I left my old life behind and moved here.
Tell us about your bar?
I own and run the Thairish Bar in Reggae soi. The Thairish Bar was originally on the other side of the soi. My friend Frederick brought that bar and named it The White Bar so I took on Thairish and moved it to the other side of the soi.
What are the challenges of running a bar in Thailand?
The hours are the biggest challenge. We are open seven days a week, so there is really no time off, but the way I see it is there is no point in moaning and groaning, you just get on and do it. Running a bar is more of a way of life than a job. But I have to say, despite the long hours, it is really good fun. I have a lot of regular customers who are very good friends, it is like being party of one big happy family.
What do you enjoy the most about the bar?
Being part of the pool team is great fun. I have met so many great people through the pool league and we always have so much fun. It is great to welcome other teams to enjoy the good old Irish hospitality at home matches, but equally it is nice to support other bars in away games.
Where did the love of pool begin?
Funnily enough I used to play snooker in Kilkenny with Michael Fitzpatrick, the farther of Tony who owns Moby Dick! When I moved got here I met Char, who at the time had the old Thairish and he invited me onto his team. The first game I played was against Samui Rock Café. I remember it well.
When you decided to open a bar what made you choose Chaweng?
Chaweng was the place I used to visit when I came here on holiday so I already had a lot of friends in this area. I love Reggae soi because there is always so much going on here and it is such a friendly street, everybody helps each other out and there is such a great atmosphere. I have tried to create a bar that is the sort of place I enjoy drinking in, a place with nice music and lovely customers. We have a huge selection of music in the bar, and we show all the big sports games on the big screen. I take pride in the little touches here, things like having immaculately clean toilet facilities, things like that to me are important. I like to think this is a place that my locals enjoy and as a place that people can come to when they are new to the island and find friendly faces that can help them along the way.
Do you have mainly Irish customers?
I have customers from all over the world but the Irish do like to come in and enjoy Magner’s Cider, it is very popular and both my personal and company facebook pages have a big Irish following. I have just started doing food in the bar. The Irish stew is very popular on a Sunday, and not only with the Irish! We serve Thai and European food and the menu really has something for everybody no matter where they come from.
What do you love the best about the island?
The people, the weather and the fact that you can go everywhere on a motorbike.
What would you like to change about the island?
I would change nothing. This to me is heaven.
Can you ever see yourself leaving Koh Samui?
Yes I can see myself leaving, in an urn! That is the only time you will get me off this island. There is nowhere I would rather be, I just love it here.
What do you do on your time off?
Sleep! I work very long hours. There is more to running a bar than just the time you spend in it. My life seems to be working and playing pool, there is just simply no time to do anything else.
Do you ever go home?
No, I have no desire to go back. I love Ireland it will always be my home but this is the place I want to be and I don’t want to spend a minute away from it if I don’t have to.
We hear you had a famous customer in your bar!
Yes I did, Pritchard from Dirty Sanchez which is the English version of Jack Ass. He saw the sign and came in he loved the place!