Spicing up the island

Local Phuket identity Claire Cookson first arrived in Phuket some seven years ago on a two-week holiday, but loved the island so much she stayed.

These days she’s the owner of the popular Pepper’s Sports Bar near Laguna, newly-opened Irish pub The Craic, and a bar on Surin Beach that should open before the next high season.

It is a busy life for the former Liverpool resident, but Claire wouldn’t have it any other way.She took over Pepper’s not long after arriving on the island, and in April the venue will celebrate 10 years of supplying islanders with a homely place to eat, drink and be merry.

Taking over Pepper’s was an easy decision as it had already had a good reputation, says Claire.

“I wanted something that was already an established business.”

Pepper’s is open daily from 8.30am to 1am, and serves a full English breakfast plus lunch and dinner “English pub” type foods. For example, the menu has fish and chips, burgers, chicken fajitas, mince pies, and Indian curries, with most mains priced around B250.

There is also a Thai food menu, where dishes are between B100 to B220.Claire’s son Jake runs the kitchen, along with Yai (who has been there since Pepper’s first opened), and Day.

Drinks include Magners Irish Cider and O’Hara’s, plus the popular “Pepper’s Pussy” cocktail made from Baileys, Kahlua and cream.

Patrons are mostly Brits, Australians and Europeans. In news that should have the island’s men take notice, Claire says that many are single ladies, who come here because there’s a woman at the helm.

The Wednesday night pub quiz attracts up to 10 teams, all eager for a chance to win a bar tab and of course, bragging rights for the next week.

Source: The Phuket News

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