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

  • First Cambodian woman graduates from Japan’s NDA military academy

    A few years ago, Meach Sithyka Jessica became the first-ever Cambodian woman to graduate from the US Military Academy at West Point, and since then her courage and determination has served as an inspiration for other Cambodian women. Similarly, Ly Chansocheata became the first Cambodian

  • Construction begins on $1.5B Kampot seaport

    The International Multi-Purpose Logistics and Port Centre, principally invested by Kampot Logistics and Port Co Ltd and projected to cost $1.5 billion, has officially broken ground in Bokor town, Kampot province. The multi-purpose logistics and port centre, located in Prek Tnaot commune, will be built on

  • Cambodia eyes key role in electronics, auto hubs in SEA

    Two roadmaps, part of the LDC’s economic diversification plan, were designed to see it through its migration process, but experts say the journey might be arduous, particularly in the presence of two established hubs in the region By 2028, Cambodia hopes to have exited the

  • Hun Neng, lawmaker and PM’s brother, passes away aged 72

    Hun Neng, chairman of the 4th Commission of the National Assembly, has passed away from heart disease at the age of 72 on the afternoon of May 5, according to the Ministry of Information. Hun Neng is the older brother of Prime Minister Hun Sen, and was

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM meets with US business giants

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has met with a number of major US companies who have expressed interest in investing in Cambodia, in a meeting convened by the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC). A delegation of companies – including Amazon, Meta, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Ford, Visa and Pernod