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Chiang Mai Bars & Restaurants Forced To Close!

Chiang Mai Bars & Restaurants Forced To Close!

No-ALcohol-Zones-in-Chiang-Mai-thailandChiang Mai Bars & Restaurants Forced To Close!

  300 metres; does this length matter?

Never has such a short distance caused so much consternation to so many…

Whilst there is some clarity still needed, if the new laws promulgated by the Thai Government are implemented and then enforced, broadly speaking no establishment will be allowed to serve alcohol within 300 metres of a university, vocational college or school.

Whether this is practical, desirable or right is not for this article to discuss.

We’d rather look at the impact of this on local businesses, many who need alcohol sales to supplement their food sales and, in turn, pay the relatively high rents.

LOI-KROH-ROAD-Closing-DownIn Chiang Mai we have the added implication of there being so many temples in and around the old city—in theory, we understand alcohol sales are not allowed within a certain radius of temples (although there are clearly “exceptions” and one only has to think of all of the bars and restaurants congregated along Loy Kroh Road to realise that this is not strictly enforced).

So what will be the impact be of these proposed changes?

Well, we can’t list them all but some may well include:

  • Some businesses may be forced to close permanently
  • Some will simply change their business models (sell more food or other items)
  • Some will relocate to be outside of the designated areas, although the costs of moving and refitting premises will be high

As has often been suggested, maybe there will be designated “entertainment areas” created after all (where is not clear!) and bars can relocate and congregate there as in certain parts of Bangkok or Phuket

Demand for suitable retail premises outside the 300 metre zone will increase whilst, clearly, there may be more vacancies within the said zones… with maybe a drop in rentals?

no-to-alcohol-in-Chiang-maiMost drinkers will probably follow their favourite bars to new locations—if they are not too far away

Only time will tell; from our side we have started to received enquiries about new premises from some concerned bar owners and operators and have started to try to identify appropriate locations.

What do you think?  Is this new proposal workable and what impact do you foresee on the CM retail property market? What is the likely impact on the areas around CM old city if most of the existing bars move?

Please let us know your thoughts and comments  below, but please stay away from any political comments as they will not be published.

Latest update :Sunday 23rd August 2015 by Perfect Homes Chiang Mai

Well many people said the new laws would not be enforced. It looks like you were correct.

Over the last few days the poeple we know that were given notice by the army, just as this law was anounced (all in a day). Have now been infomred that they may continue to sell alcohol. But must follow the same laws as the Seven Eleven’s. Meaning that they can not sell any alcohol between 2 & 5 during the day and must stop selling at midnight.

This step back has given many owners the chance to breathe again but with a slightly  unclear future.

Perfect Homes is a leading Chiang Mai real estate agency with extensive experience in the city, regionally, nationally and internationally.

(14) Comments

  1. Bert

    on   said 

    I can not believe this new ruling, the army have been down and told us we have to stop selling alcohol. They are going to withdraw our license very soon. I can not believe this after investing so much in my bar.

    What good is my bar with no beer?!

    Reply
    • LivinLOS

      on   said 

      Where is your location Bert.. I am trying to get an idea of where they are trying to control..

      Nimanheamin seems obvious but are they really shutting tawan deang etc ??

      Reply
      • Perfect Homes (Chiang Mai Properties)

        on   said 

        Hi LivinLOS,
        We are not sure where Bert is but we expecting Tawan Deang to be affected as Chiang Mai University covers a large proportion of Nimman.
        Warm Up is definitely being effected.
        One of the main areas I have heard from owners is around Thapae Gate where bars such as Number 1 Bar and Mad Dog have been given their notices. They will have their alcohol licenses revoked early August. If nothing Changes soon.

        Reply
    • Perfect Homes (Chiang Mai Properties)

      on   said 

      Dear Bert,
      Did anything happen, did they withdraw your licence?
      The people I have spoken to have not had their licences to sell withdrawn, is this the same for you.
      I understand it is great news that they have not taken away people’s licencese but it has been hard on owners with all the uncertainty over the last month.
      I wish you all the best for the future.

      Reply
  2. James

    on   said 

    Looks like there are going to be a lot more coffee shops. But Personally I thought there were enough coffee shops already!

    Reply
  3. Stig

    on   said 

    I heard they have now changed their minds and are going to assign a lot more “entertainment zones” where this law won’t apply. I am not sure if they only mean Bangkok or other cities too… Interesting times…

    Reply
    • Perfect Homes (Chiang Mai Properties)

      on   said 

      Lets hope they do have a lightening of hearts. Where would be good entertainment zones in Chiang Mai?

      Reply
  4. Eric

    on   said 

    It seems there might be some exceptions to this new rule but these have not been spelled out. It will be very hard for many bar owners to relocate quickly and without substantial cost so let’s hope matters are made clearer as soon as possible

    Reply
  5. Joe

    on   said 

    If strict interpretation of the law were to be enforced (i.e. 300 metres), it will spell the decline of CM from tourist (and expat favourite) perspective. I doubt expats would accept being herded like cattle into one of these “entertainment” centres. Somewhat like the Boxing Ring area. Perhaps only those that only value booze over choice and ambiance. One of the appeals of CM is its number of bars peppered throughout the city giving the feel of being in a “Disneyland” for adults.

    I would like to see the business owners and landlords band together to protest loudly. Will it help? Don’t know!!!

    Reply
    • Perfect Homes (Chiang Mai Properties)

      on   said 

      They are talking about creating entertainment zones, where would you suggest these be in Chiang Mai?
      JJ Market?
      Loi Kroh?
      Prassert Land?
      Or where? because where ever you move them to there will be protests from the locals there.

      Reply
  6. Paul

    on   said 

    As someone above said I think they have changed it to “entertainment areas” are exempt but they said that these areas were last decided upon about 12 years ago. The process of deciding what these areas are will take 9 months…just enough time for it all to go away and nothing of the sort was said.

    Reply
  7. Scottie Haab

    on   said 

    When staff were asked if this was okay they said it was and that the police were permitting it because, though the alcohol was being consumed in the restaurant, it had not been bought there. What does that mean?

    Reply
    • Perfect Homes (Chiang Mai Properties)

      on   said 

      Hi Scott, the situation is, to my understanding, that it is not illegal to consume alcohol it is only illegal to sell it.

      Reply

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