The six buildings are located at the northern edge of Rattanakosin Island, looking across Klong Phadung Krung Kasem canal to the Royal district of Dusit. The buildings were built at the time of King Chulalongkorn Rama V (1853 – 1910) close to Nangleong Market on Crown Property land. At the time the area was a buzz with commerce and entertainment – government offices, commercial businesses, cinemas, trendy shops, boxing stadiums, horse racecourse, and restaurants and bars.
For more than 80 years the family who produced the sports massage oil called “Num Mun Muay” or Boxing Cool balm occupied the building. But as their business grew they located to another part of Bangkok. Maintaining the lease on the buildings, now vacant, in 2016 the family asked Peerasith “Mac” Seemool to find them a tenant. Spotting an opportunity, Mac took on the project himself.
The design and renovating over the building consumed two years of Mac’s life. With no previous experience in hospitality, Mac converted the upstairs into accommodation and downstairs into a series of interconnected rooms for the kitchen, casual dining, and bar called ‘Buddha & Pals’ (Happiness and Friends). The decor celebrates the buildings heritage making it very popular with the Instagram generation.
During the day Buddha & Pals operates as a cafe, serving signature coffee concoctions, home made cakes, and light means. Mac’s love of jazz was born when Brown Sugar, Bangkok’s renowned venue located on the edge of Lumpini Park. When the sun goes down Buddha & Pals lights up with the sound of mixologists at work and, on (days), live jazz. (Coincidently, Brown Sugar recently relocated nearby.)