Central: The Original Store
Meet Charoenkrung’s latest hip lifestyle hub, courtesy of retail giant, Central Group.
Nestled right next to Charoenkrung Soi 38, Central: The Original Store, Central Group’s total revamp of its first retail store built in 1950, is the latest exciting addition to arrive in Charoenkrung’s blossoming creative neighborhood.
In honoring the history of their family’s heritage, the retail giant has commissioned Belgian architect Vincent Van Duysen to give the five-story building a whole new life. The result? A striking, contemporary space that houses a concept store, a cafe, a library, a jazz bar, and a restaurant by David Thompson, all under one roof.
Step inside the first floor, and you’ll be greeted with tasteful and cozy interiors of light terrazzo floors and high concrete ceilings punctuated by dark wooden beams. Here, you can browse through Central’s artful displays of vintage imported books and magazines from the archive, as well as hip souvenirs from notebooks (B360), pencil sets (B300), and keychains (B150) to colorful pins (B70), T-shirts (B650), and totes (B800). Another highlight goes to the ever stylish, Central-owned Siwilai Cafe, where you can get your caffeine fix (from B140 for a filter coffee brewed from beans of your choice) and hearty brunch dishes like the eggs Benedict (B320), truffle cheese toast (B340), and Siwilai Club Sandwich (B340).
The second floor, meanwhile, features The Kolophon Retail Library, which boasts over a 1,000 volume of books on subjects related to the retail business, store design, visual merchandising, and architecture. Currently, the third and fourth floors are incomplete, but soon they soon house Central Space, which will be dedicated to a series of exhibitions about Central’s history, and The Worldly, a space set up for contemporary art exhibitions and creative events.
Go further up the staircase to the fifth floor, and you’ll be welcomed with David Thompson’s new restaurant Aksorn, where the Australian chef dishes out new creations based on recipes from Thai cookbooks from the 1950s-70s.
Come night time, music enthusiasts can head to Siwilai Sound Club, a hip cocktail and jazz bar split into two floors—the “Live Room” on the first floor for awesome live jazz performances, and “Audiophile Bar” on the second floor, equipped with a vintage high-fidelity system and shelves dedicated to vinyl records.