Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Howie’s no more – but boozy institution to remain



Howie’s no more – but boozy institution to remain

Howie Taing has sold his bar and is moving away.
Howie Taing has sold his bar and is moving away. Bennett Murray

Howie’s no more – but boozy institution to remain

Howie’s Bar – long a mandatory late-night stop on Street 51 for bar-crawling Phnom Penh expats – is no longer Howie’s. After nearly 17 years, Chinese-Cambodian-American proprietor Howie Taing sold the establishment last Thursday after deciding to leave Phnom Penh.

Taing announced plans to sell the bar on June 10 via his personal Facebook page, with an asking price of $22,000. He said this week that he would return to Seattle in the US with his children after a long absence.

A man of few words, Taing offered little explanation this week as to how he had selected the new owner, Voan Mao, from “many buyers”.

“I sold [the bar] to the Khmer people who sell food [next door],” he explained. “Go get more information from them.”

In an interview with Post Weekend last month, Taing indicated that the number of customers in his bar had declined in recent years – along with business in other establishments along the Street 51 nightlife strip.

Mao, whose family operates a few late-night food stalls nearby, declined to disclose his primary place of employment. He told Post Weekend he had never before personally run a bar – or a business – but assured regular patrons that for now, nothing inside the establishment would change: not the staff, the prices ($1.75 per draft), the menu or the pool table.

Mao added that he was open to suggestions.

“I don’t know whether old customers will come or new ones, but I want to listen to them,” Mao said. “I used to come to this place – it is like a family business.”

“I will keep everything the same, even the brand name – Howie’s Bar,” he added. “I like this bar.”

Howie’s opened in November 1999. The bar will host a “leaving party” for its previous owner on Sunday, Taing said.

Additional reporting by Vandy Muong

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Cambodia resumes issuance of tourist visas

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has announced the resumption of its tourist visa and visa exemption programme after a long hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In a letter dated October 20 and addressed to foreign embassies and consulates, foreign minister Prak Sokhonn

  • S’ville set to turn into ‘second Shenzhen’

    The Ministry of Economy and Finance has awarded a master plan consultancy contract to top Chinese institute for the development and transformation of Preah Sihanouk province into a “Model Multi-Purpose Special Economic Zone”, Southeast Asia’s next logistics and resort hub and innovation centre. The

  • Health ministry issues SOP for travellers

    The Ministry of Health released their official Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) on October 20 for all travellers to Cambodia, with the specific instructions varying according to whether the traveller is fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated or unvaccinated. The SOP document is essentially identical to the updated quarantine