BiB034: Chewing the Fat with Matthew Fischer

On this episode of Brewed in Bangkok, Siddhant chills out at Fatty’s Bar and Diner with the owner, Matthew Fischer.

Matthew hails from Wisconsin and it was here that he met Kae, his future wife to be, who worked at a convenience store in his town on her exchange semester from Thailand. It wasn’t long before Matthew went to check out Bangkok on his own terms. Through stints as an English teacher and then as a substitute English teacher, who was sent to cover classes across Thailand, Matthew got to experience this country first hand. He and Kae are now the proprietors of Fatty’s Bar and Diner, a labor of love that has been hosting folks with a hankering for generous American comfort food and passion for indie music. We chat about the Bangkok indie scene, catching live music in this town, and why drunken leapfrogging is a bad idea on this episode of Brewed in Bangkok!

About Matthew

  • Founded Fatty’s Diner, a popular bar and restaurant in Bangkok.
  • From Wisconsin in the United States and worked as a cook.
  • He met Kae, his future wife, who is Thai, at the local supermarket in Wisconsin.
  • Breaking both arms, in a freak leap-frog accident, ended his stint in the kitchen for a while. He decided to go to university but changed his mind and visited Bangkok for the first time in 2008.
  • Moved to Bangkok and worked a few odd jobs before landing a teaching job and then a substitute teaching job that took all over Thailand.
  • Started working at Nomad’s, a bar that was formerly known as Noreiga’s.
  • Worked as a corporate English instructor for Bata, a shoe company.
  • Decided to open up a restaurant/live music place
  • Started Midwestern Foods, a cheese company.
  • Started a restaurant called The Fat Tap in Ekkamai
  • He has also released his own music through Panda Records.

Topics Discussed

  • Rural Wisconsin and Thai Exchange Students
  • Breaking both arms in a leap-frogging accident led to major life changes
  • Matthew’s teaching job in Thailand
  • Learning about programming live bands at Nomad’s bar in Bangkok
  • The search for a shop house begins
  • The ideas for Fatty’s
  • An oral history of the Bangkok Indie Scene from Matthew’s point of view.
  • Stifling of Indie music in Bangkok
  • Acts that work in Bangkok
  • Ups and downs of the Bangkok Indie Scene
  • Matthew’s favorite music genres
  • Matthew’s wish list for live music in Bangkok
  • Other live music venues in Bangkok
  • Cautious optimism and Zoning issues with live music
  • Started a cheese making business called Midwestern Foods, which focuses on cheese curds that is popular in Wisconsin. It’s used in Poutine as well.
  • Started the Fat Tap restaurant with his partners in Ekkamai.

Resources Mentioned

Credits

I had some help with this episode. Lou Pobjecky kindly helped me with a lot of the necessary audio edits to get this file into the fine piece of audio it is today. Lou also put together the cover image.

Want More?

Check out the complete collection of Brewed in Bangkok episodes.

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