A common dream for many expats in Thailand is to open their own bar or restaurant. Ed interviews Matthew Fischer, a local restaurateur and bar owner, who has successfully started two bars in Bangkok – Fatty’s on Rama IX, and the Fat Tap off of Ekkamai. Matthew recounts the trials and tribulations that took Fatty’s from a mere whisper of an idea to a six-year Bangkok institution.

But it certainly ain’t for everyone – Matthew’s tale is a cautionary one. Long hours in the kitchen, the stress of finding the right location, and the complications of working with your partner all present real (but surmountable) obstacles. Even with his success, he insists that bars are bad as pure investments – but there is a bright side: foreigners with a true passion can succeed at starting their own bar or restaurant in Thailand.

Matthew has taken his Wisconsin cuisine of burgers and beers (and lots of cheese) and transplanted it to the other side of the world, giving Thais, expats, and tourists the taste of real, homegrown American food, all at a reasonable price. If you want to follow in Matthew’s path, just get ready to sweat. 🙂

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