MY PHNOM PENH:Howie Taing: Bar owner

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Chinese-Cambodian-American Howie Taing, 49, has owned Howie’s Bar on Street 51 since 1999

MY PHNOM PENH:Howie Taing: Bar owner

Good Time

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Good Time is a sports club in Tuol Kork where you can go to exercise. They have a sauna and a steam room, and they have two pools: one for kids and one for adults.

They have a tennis court, ping pong tables and badminton. It’s a good place to go during the day. The food there is tasty too.

I go there on the weekends or when the kids are on holiday because the kids love swimming. All my kids know how to swim and I taught them there.

This is a good place for people with kids. And the price is reasonable: $4 for the kids, $5 for adults.

Danmeats Butchery

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My friend runs Danmeats. He has great sausage. Howie’s hotdogs are from him. It was my idea to make a hotdog with sauerkraut. I got the idea from Seattle.

Every year when I’ve had a party, for the last 16 years, he’s been my barbecue source. He’s a very nice guy.

Before, when there weren’t many bars here, I had my one-year party and I just asked him to do the meat for me for the barbecue.

That’s how I met him. Now, every year for my party, I let him do the food here. He’s been here 24 or 25 years already.

He worked for the United Nations. The sausage is my favourite from him, and the salami. He also comes to my bar almost every day.

Red Fox

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I’m a regular there. It’s a nice place to have a drink down on Street 136. Brad, the owner, is my friend, too.

He is from Australia and he comes here to my bar a lot. He’s a really cool guy. He’s understanding.

Me and him, we’re not running a girly bar. Most of the older bar owners in Phnom Penh, we know each other, like at Martini and Sharky’s.

It’s a small world, really small. I like Red Fox because it’s not a sleazy bar. They play good music, like Western rock.

My favorite music is 1980s music, like Wham!, Madonna … all the ’80s songs.

They play that stuff sometimes. My number one band is The Animals. I love House of the Rising Sun.

Howie’s Bar

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I treat Howie’s like a family bar. That’s what I hope for it. Anyone who brings a new customer in here, please understand this.

This is a good bar. Of course, you make money from the good, the bad and the ugly, but some guys I don’t want to deal with.

I just do everything myself here. I’ve learned most of my English running the bar here. I learned in Seattle a bit, but here I’ve picked up a little bit more.

If I get good customers that come here, it’s easy. If I see anything that’s wild, I’ll change the music to softer music. This is like my second home.

I’ve got a good pool table here. Every time I come here I am very happy to see my staff and the customers.

I just want good customers to come in. Please don’t bring in bad drunks.

Walkabout

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I just go there as a place to get out of my bar and look around on Friday nights. I’ll just go for one or two hours and come back.

They have the Joker Draw on Fridays. It’s a lottery that I’ve won a couple times. The last time I won it was $3,000 or something.

You buy three tickets, you get one free drink and then they put the tickets in this container thing.

Then they pick out a number and if it matches with your ticket you have to go over there to turn over one of the cards they have on the wall.

You choose out of 53 cards, so you have to be double lucky. You have to get the joker to win the jackpot, but some of them have other prizes.

If you turn over the ace, you get $1,000. When I won that three grand I gave the waitresses a $300 tip.

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