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Bangkok's king of clubbing plots fresh projects

Lao impresario Sanya Souvanna Phouma returns to his roots

Sanya Souvanna Phouma inside Funky Lam, a restaurant launched by the serial entrepreneur in Bangkok. "I was burning to create something new," Sanya says of his early days in the Thai capital after leaving France. (Courtesy of Sanya Souvanna Phouma)

Only the quirkiest of entrepreneurs could draw inspiration from his family's experience after the 1975 takeover of Laos by the Pathet Lao communists.

Nursing a craft beer at midnight in Bangkok's BangBang Burgers, his latest boxing-themed bar and restaurant, Sanya Souvanna Phouma looks younger than his 50 years. But the serial entrepreneur, who helped to create some of Bangkok's wildest most innovative entertainment and dining venues, suggests that his background in the turbulent politics of late 20th-century Laos has helped shape his ideas -- and success -- in cosmopolitan Bangkok. Among his signature projects have been the unique music/dining/cabaret combos Bed Supperclub, Maggie Choo's and Sing Sing.

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