Tertoen Grey Area has had quite an evolution – from art gallery to blending the vibe of a city after-hours spot & restaurant. The Grey Area is one of Bhutans first proper ‘Gastropub’. Located in the heart of Thimphu city, The Grey Area has transformed this Gastrobar as the new hotspot for food & drinks whether you’re looking to meet up with friends or sit alone at the bar listening to a live band. But it’s the ambience, soft luminous lighting and live music from relatively unheard of artists that sets Grey Area apart in the growing bustling happy hour hotspots of Thimphu. And this all comes from the eclectic style taste of its owner Actor & Artist Kelly Dorji.
Rugged yet effortlessly stylish, the entire lounge has an industrial bunker vibe to it, although Kelly Dorji’s classic artwork is displayed throughout. “It’s spacious yet closed, it’s a bar but also a restaurant, it’s an art gallery but also a pub, hence the name Grey Area,” Kelly Dorji explains.
“If it had not been for the pandemic The Grey Area would not have been what it is today.” That might sound odd considering how much Covid affected restaurant businesses all over. “When the pandemic struck and Bhutan closed- my cousin suggested I open my art gallery as a bar,” Kelly Dorji shares. “It was a big commitment to make. But in order to keep the people who have been with me for up to 8 years employed, I was fortunate to have all the tools I needed as well as a space I had already exercised my designs in.” It was crazy when we started as there was no business from an already nervous society. But as time passed, we have been able to make a good place out of the space, and trained ourselves on the job.”
The rainbow trout that lays on a bed of garlic mashed potatoes is the Grey Area’s iconic dish. But their house cocktails are the real deal. Our favourites? Mojito, Blushing Maya and the Horny devil. Despite the names having a naughty twist, they are all crafted by their in-house ‘Dragon Mixologist’.
So if you’re looking for a nice happy hour spot in the middle of Thimphu, visit The Grey Area, and if you’re lucky you’ll get to chat with the charming owner himself.
Go to their Instagram page here
Google map directions here