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Good Life Gurus: June Patcha Hengsadeekul, the DJ behind Fics and Mutual Bar

Bangkok is a city brimming with talented personalities and charming characters who have pushed their way through to really make their mark. There’s no doubt that they’re truly living their best life, and doing it in great style. In our Good Life Gurus series, we explore and ask the city’s millennial tastemakers and cultural arbiters to reveal what the good life means to them, and give us a little insight into how they live it up.

Lockdown or not, it’s no secret that Bangkok loves music, thrives on coffee, and adores ‘gramming neon light signs in trendy hidden bars. June Patcha Hengsadeekul — who effortlessly rides this wave of cool — totally get this. She’s a DJ by day, and one of the Humans of Mutual Bar by night. Between those hours, you may also find her at her film-inspired coffeeshop, concept store, and community space, Fics.

Juggling simultaneously three of the things urban city dwellers adore most, June Patcha Hengsadeekul definitely scores high in cool points and good life guru wisdom. We were lucky enough to snag a few minutes with the busy and buzzing Bangkokian, chatting all things good life ethos and lockdown life changes. Read on for some sweet insight into June’s authentic, original, and heartwarmingly honest character, and her two cents on the importance of strong relationships, pandemic workouts, and why you should always look out for the potholes.

There’s a red light sign at Mutual Bar that reads, “People You May Know.” On our list of Good Life Gurus, June Patcha Hengsadeekul is one you should definitely know.

Please give us a little background about yourself and what you do. 

It’s always hard for me to tell people about what I do because I don’t have a specific/proper job title for it, so my answer often depends on the person who asks.

If I’d have to fill out a form, I’d write ‘a radio DJ’ because it’s short and easy. But if I’m in a conversation with older people, I’d say I’m a business owner.

What are the stories behind Mutual Bar and Fics? How did it all begin?

These two things happened because my brother, Baz, had an idea and he wanted me to join the team. You know, when your brother asks you to do something, you can’t just say no — even when it’s a random invitation to open a cocktail bar.

I don’t drink at all but I thought it’d be a perfect opportunity for me to try new things at that age (I was 24) and I’m glad I said yes to Mutual Bar. The same goes for Fics. It’s like my brother is the one who comes up with all the ideas and I’m the one who’s happy to help him visualise it.

 

Who are your customers? What are they like?

For some reason, most of our customers at Fics and Mutual Bar are super friendly!

For Mutual Bar, my team and I have met and started friendships with so many incredible people there. At Fics, we have built a younger millennial customer base. We are so lucky that the customers we have both at Mutual Bar and Fics are so supportive, especially during this time.

What role do you think being a foodie plays in living a ‘good life'?

I wasn’t a foodie before I met my husband (I’m still not even sure if I’m qualified enough for the word ‘foodie’), but I became very fascinated and intrigued by food when I started dating him. In fact, I used to have eating problems and it affected my daily life. I had frequent gas pain and got tired most of the time because of my bad eating habits. My husband literally forced me to eat 3 meals a day and taught me the importance of healthy and tasty food. It was the first time I got to try new cuisines when traveling and experienced some interesting restaurants from time to time. Now I eat a lot more than I used to, but I also feel a lot better about my body and my eating habits.

 

What does the good life mean to you? How do you live the good life? 

I value relationships; especially relationships that I have with my family and my husband. I have a close-knit family and now I have my husband. I often tell people how much I love them and how important they are to me and I’m proud of it. Some people might say things like “you shouldn’t be relying emotionally on other people too much” or “you have to be alone to be strong” and stuff like that, but that’s not what I believe. I tell myself every day how lucky I am and how grateful I am that I have them in my life.

The good life for me is knowing that I have this supporting team that will always be there for me even when everything else in life is changing all the time.

What are your 5 good life essentials? 

My family, my best friends, my bed, my iPad Air, and my vision board. (No food because my husband takes care of that).

 

What is your self-care ritual?

I love a good hot bath or shower. It’s one of the things that can always reset my mood. This is followed by my simple skincare routine, my oversized cotton nightdress, my bed, my two teddy bears, and old sitcoms like The Office or Friends. This works any time of the day, too.

What do you do to be more sustainable or eco-friendly (in work and privately)?

One of my best friends is an eco-conscious goddess and I fail her all the time [laughs]. I try to bring my own bottle to work because as a DJ you need a whole bottle of water to stay hydrated. Also, I try my best to reuse all the packagings from people and restaurants that send me food. I have to admit that I’m not nearly as green and eco-friendly as I’d like to be but I’m trying to consume all resources as responsibly and consciously as possible.

 

What do you do to keep fit?

I do a full-body workout 3-5 days a week. I’m a big fan of HIIT workouts, but during the pandemic, my husband and I had to stop going to the gym. We tried to create our own new workout routine but it’s pretty hard because we live in a condo and there’s not enough space for us. Now I follow workout series from Youtubers like Chloe Ting and POPSUGAR Fitness and do all the workouts in front of the TV. It’s not ideal but it works just fine.

Where do you go for… the best breakfast in Bangkok?

It’s not a breakfast place but there’s a Korean restaurant called Man Chan in Sukhumvit 33/1 (Soi UFM). They serve traditional Korean dishes and it’s hands down the best Korean restaurant I’ve ever been to. The owners and most of their customers are Koreans so when you step inside the restaurant, it’s like you’re not even in Bangkok anymore. The food is out of this world. My husband and I are regulars at Man Chan so you’ll definitely find us there after the lockdown.

 

Where do you go for… the best date night in Bangkok?

I’d say Mutual Bar. I always imagine what it’d be like if I were a customer on a date visiting Mutual Bar. The vibe is great and warm, the music is superb, the service is exceptional, and the cocktails are amazing. It’s casual and fun, with an intimate space for a date night. What more could you ask for?

Where do you go for… the best drinks in Bangkok?

I usually go to bed before 10pm so I’m not an expert on this. But I can recommend you a coffee place instead. At Fics, we import the coffee beans from the Northern part of Thailand roasted by Caffè Bruno, using Thai coffee beans with the fine Italian science of espresso making. The signature menu is inspired by our favourite movies such as Clockwork Orange, Lost in Translation, and Amelie, so if you’re a film lover, you’re going to love this place.

Where do you go for… the best place to shop in Bangkok?

I love Siam Paragon and Central World. It may sound conventional but they are so close to where I live and they have everything you need (and don’t need). Best time to visit? 10 am on weekdays.

 

Where do you go for… the best escape from Bangkok?

Lampang, my husband’s hometown.

Lastly, a word of advice for living the good life in Bangkok:

Stay sane and healthy, and be careful while walking on the sidewalk with loose tiles and potholes.

Lisa Gries
Creative Content Director, Bangkok
Lisa loves to travel, and is always on the lookout for the world’s best nap spots. She’s a serious Asian art history nerd, and has a knack for languages and coffee table books. She hopes to publish her own novels one day, one of which will likely be called ‘All The Great Conversations I Had In A Bangkok Speakeasy.’ It’s a work in progress.