Pride Bar and Restaurant by Cameron McKean
Nestled between Gs German Restaurant and Balcony Bar, Pride Bar and Restaurant is more than a great place for dinner. Created by Cameron McKean, a financial technology entrepreneur, Pride is a beacon of hope for dozens.
In its first incarnation Pride was a Resort in Phuket, catering to LGBTQ holiday makers from around the world. However, it really found its stride relocating to what is arguably Asia’s gayest street, Silom Soi 4, a few blocks from Bangkok’s financial center.
While Cameron will fight tooth and nail to increase the margins of his Swiss-based financial institution, Confidia AG, when it comes to Pride his metric isn’t profitability. Pride is designed to hopefully turn a profit, but the bigger goal is providing livelihoods to underprivileged gay young men, who need a helping hand. With no tourists in Thailand due to covid the nightlife scene is suffering along with the many who depended on it. So, when the doors closed in Phuket, the staff were relocated to Bangkok and kept on salary for months, while Cameron found the right place to realize his dream.
Now, Pride employs no less than 35 staff, all of whom see Pride as more than the place they work. It’s a place of comradery, a place where they can feel safe, happy, and where they can truly add value. Many have never had a tax paying job before with Social Security benefits. Does the restaurant need three engineers? Probably not, but you’ll never see a fused lightbulb, a slow WiFi connection, a leaky window, or a running toilet at Pride.
And it has worked. While other restaurants in Bangkok struggle to fill their tables, Pride is always full. Part of the reason is low prices, but the bigger reasons are the great food, the family-type ambience, and the staff. But it has been a struggle thanks to Covid. As Cameron’s metric isn’t net profits, he has generally been the first restaurant around to put in place safety measures, including closing it when need be, like right now. But the boys are being paid during lockdown and you can bet that when the restrictions are lifted Pride will be busting at the seams, catering to a happy clientele with an equally happy staff ensuring this.