The JUSMAG bar is named after a US Air Force Brigadier General named Harry C. (Heinie) Aderholt:
Although located within the JUSMAG (Joint US Military Assistance Group) Thai military complex, this bar is normally open to anyone with proper identification, and – particularly on Friday nights (steak night), a large number of Thais – including whole families – are often in attendance.
The reason that this bar appears with in a craft beer directory is that for perhaps ten years, there was a beer cooler against the wall around the right side of the main bar – and that cooler was filled with American craft beers. You went to the cooler, selected your own beer, then took that beer to the bar, paid for it – and they would open the beer for you. And – up until maybe late 2015 – the cost of a bottle of craft beer was maybe 120 to 140 baht.
Well, I am sad to say that as of August 2017, there is no longer a self-service beer cooler around the back side of the bar. Now, instead, atop a refrigerated cabinet behind the bar, there is a line-up of nine beer bottles, showing what is available:
You tell them which beer you want, they get it out of the refrigerator and pop the cap, you pay for the beer (pay as you go), and they hand it to you. The Ballast Point Sculpin was 200 baht.
Note that there are no tax stamps on the bottles (and can) – so you can only get opened bottles here, to drink on premises.
There are seven seats at the bar, and there are a total of four tall circular tables, each with two stools:
There are also two pool tables:
The toilets, by the way, are located through the “swinging saloon doors’ shown in the center of the above photo.
There are also a couple of chairs and a low table back along the wall past the pool tables. Not a tremendous amount of seating in the bar area.
But – there is also a LARGE dining area, with at least 20 tables, each seating six persons. I was not able to get a usable photo of this area. It is mostly used on Friday steak nights, when there may be 80 or more visitors.
Other than on Friday steak nights, there is only a limited menu available. They have a typical bar menu:
But they also offer a modest selection of Thai dishes:
There is no smoking inside the bar – but there are a couple of “picnic bench” style tables outside the bar entrance, for smokers:
The bar has two small video screens flanking the bar counter, and one large video screen at each end of the room. There is background music playing at comfortable level – mostly classic rock from the 70’s through perhaps the 90’s.
How to get to this bar: Take MRT to Lumpini Station, and exit using Exit 2. At street level, bear left slightly, and then walk straight ahead on the sidewalk for 100 meters to Sathorn Soi 1. As soon as you cross this soi, the walled JUSMAG Thai compound will be on your left. You continue on for about another 60 meters – and you will come to the main gate into the compound, complete with guard station:
You walk PAST the vehicle gate, to the doorway just to the left of the pedestrian shown walking toward the camera in the photo above. Try pushing on the door – and it may be open and unlocked. But – it is a magnetically controlled entrance, and is often “locked”. In that case, you must push on a “buzzer” button – located as shown by the red arrow in the photo below:
Push the buzzer, and listen for a “click” that indicates that the magnetic circuit has been opened – and when it sounds, push the door open and proceed ahead – where you will immediately come to a second imposing-looking door:
This second door is normally unlocked – you just push it open. Once past this door, you angle slightly to the right – through a metal detector door-frame – which does not seem to be turned on – and you then go down a 15 meter hallway with another door at the end. Just before the door, there is a security guard station, and you must stop there. One of several things can then happen – ranging from simply being waved ahead, to signing-in on a clipboard-mounted access sheet and then proceeding, to exchanging your photo ID for a colored, clip-on access pass. Visitors should always have photo ID, and bringing your passport is the surest solution – although it has not been specifically required in recent years.
Once you have satisfied the security guard, you pass through the door at the end of the hallway, and turn right – and this is what you will see:
The white sign overhead, with Thai and US flags is your destination. The entrance doors:
The sign to the left of the doors:
So – this is not a place for late night adventures.
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