Reports of swooning caused by sightings of movie actor and homegrown matinee idol Tep Rindaro sipping coffee at the Barista Café called for action.
7Days’ Siem Reap bureau’s What’s On editor Thika Chariya donned her reporter’s hat and undertook the mission to ferret out facts.
Lo and behold, it transpired that Tep Rindaro was not just a mere coffee sipper at the café – he owned the joint. And had done so since March 20 last year.
Furthermore, in the spirit of the legendary mid-1980s Gillette TV commercial by Viktor Kiam who loved the company so much he bought it, Tep Rindaro loved Barista Café so much that he bought the business.
Tep’s offsider at Barista, Touch Chan, said Tep often comes to Siem Reap and loves walking. During one of his walks he chanced upon Barista and, when in town, had coffee there daily.
Touch Chan said, “He wished that one day he could run the cafe shop by himself. When he heard that the owner, a Korean, wanted to sell, he decided to buy it.”
Now, whenever he is in town, Tep Rindaro sits at the sidewalk tables in front of Barista sipping coffee and sending his female fans into a frenzy.
The plan now is to open a second Barista Café in Phnom Penh.
After a dud debut in the movies, Tep Rindaro’s big break came with his second movie appearance in the 1990 film, Ark Kambang Kech Sanyar (The Secret Promise), produced by Ses Vong Setha and co-starring actress Apor Tevy.
In the romantic drama, Tep played the role of a Cambodian doctor who returns to his homeland after living abroad to search for the family he lost during the Pol Pot regime, while simultaneously falling in love with a young woman.
Tep’s gone on record joking that his fame was all down to a good hairdresser: “I became a famous film star at that time because of my hair. All the film stars of those days had long hair, but mine was cut short.”
Meanwhile, back to serious matters – the coffee at Barista. According to cub reporter Thika Chariya, “Ice blended is a nice taste of the coffee in there.”