To the delight of the Russian Market’s considerable expat community, The Local reopened its doors on Friday night after lying dormant for a month.
Sixty revellers and well-wishers crowded around the venue’s refurbished rooftop, wooed by a sprawling view of the city’s south and a relaxed lounge music ambiance.
“It was really good, there was a really nice turnout and it was a lot of fun for us,” said Brian Ulatowski, one of The Local’s owners.
A regular fixture around Street 172’s restaurant strip chancing his hand in the hospitality industry for the first time, Ulatowski was pleased that everything came together in time for the launch after weeks of frenetic preparation.
“To be honest it was a little bit nerve-wracking. I was asking everybody I knew, every foreigner and Cambodian I’d ever met, if they knew anybody we could take on as staff,” he said.
The Local abruptly shut its doors last month after the Khmer New Year, when a German expatriate and previous partner in the business stripped the bar of its contents and sold the wares at fire sale prices before leaving the country.
According to the remaining partners, approximately $15,000 worth of merchandise was stolen, some of which belonged to the building’s landlords.
Despite last month’s dramatic nuisance, there was no indication that even a stick of furniture was out of place for Friday night’s festivities.
The bar’s new partners have evidently decided to redouble their efforts, with plans to open more guesthouse rooms and refurbish the ground floor.
“The bottom area is going to be a bit more of a lounge for people coming by in the afternoon. We’re interested in having a small food menu eventually,” said Ulatowski.
The Local is at #39 St 454, near the Russian Market.
To contact the reporter on this story: Sean Gleeson at [email protected]