Thai Dang Cao (1953 – 2014)

The eccentric owner of Old Brompton Road’s Nam Long Le Shaker was famed for creating the legendary Flaming Ferrari cocktail. A favourite of the likes of Lord Archer’s son, James, this lethal concoction consists of 100% proof rum, Chartreuse, Grand Marnier and Blue Curaçao. Of them Dang Cao commented: “If you drink three of them you kiss the ground like the Pope”. He occupied a throne-like seat in his establishment yet truly did good through philanthropically funding a school and clinic in Vietnam and of this nightlife legend’s passing, one customer concluded: “He was not a man of many words, but a creator some of my worst life hangovers”. Whilst Nam Long Le Shaker – established in 1987 – has been described as being “a place like no other”; Thai Dang Cao was most certainly “a man like no other”. The longest ever lock-in in the sky has commenced with his arrival.

The Roll Call - WILDCARDS

1

Evelyn McHale (1923 – 1947)

2

‘Mr Black Lives Matter’

3

Gabriel and Sarah A. Chrisman

4

Eileen Gray (1878 – 1976, née Eileen Smith)

5

Robert Adam

6

Lady Ridsdale DBE (1921 – 2009, née Victoire Bennett)

7

Bob Marshall-Andrews QC

8

Charlot Malin (1969 – 2017)

9

Baba Vanga (баба Ванга, AKA ‘Nostradamus from the Balkans’, 1911 – 1996)

10

Mr Make a Big Issue

11

Mary Millington (marital name Mary Maxted, born Mary Quilter, 1945 – 1979)

12

Sir Ken Adam OBE (born Klaus Adam, 1921 – 2016)

13

Will and Calum Thompson (AKA “The Eat Wild Boys”)

14

Arthur Woodham

15

Hannah Wick

16

Daniel Lismore

17

John Patrick Hannan

18

Max Whitlock (nicknamed “Maxi”)

19

Kelly Killoren Bensimon

20

Lee Miller (Lady Penrose, born Elizabeth Miller, 1907 – 1977)

21

Ted Richards

22

Victoria Pendleton CBE (married name Victoria Gardner)

23

Christopher Mason

24

Bonnie Lee Bakley (1956 – 2001)

25

Gino D’Acampo

26

Gillian Clarke (1941 – 2015)

27

Francesco Macera

28

Nicholas Loeb

29

Reverend Robert Parker

30

Gillian Duffy

31

David Hallberg

32

Ruthann Aron (AKA “Ruth Aron”, née Ruthann Greenzweig)

33

Lady Alice, Lady Eliza and Lady Violet Manners (AKA “The No Manners Girls”)

34

Topsy Taylor (born Lesley Taylor)

35

Peter Dinklage

36

Olivier Sarkozy and Mary-Kate Olson

37

Nina Campbell

38

Crispin Baynes

39

Bill Martin MBE (born William Wylie MacPherson)

40

Henry Blofeld OBE (AKA “Blowers”, “Tycoon” and “Typhoon”)

41

Emma Sayle

42

Nancy Cunard (1896 – 1965)

43

Elliot Bssila

44

Joudie Kalla

45

Ross O’Connell Jennings

46

Alexa Jago

47

Claire Zambuni

48

Amanda Eliasch (née Amanda Brown)

49

Charlie Anson

50

Count Louis-Marie de Castelbajac

51

Jeremy Lloyd OBE (1930 – 2014)

52

Sandra Howard, Lady Howard (née Sandra Paul)

53

Anne Naysmith (1937 - 2015, AKA “The Rag Lady of Chiswick”)

54

Claudine Longet

55

The Fantasy Cyclist

56

Sarah, Duchess of York (AKA “Fergie”, née Sarah Ferguson)

57

Fredrik Eklund

58

Sir Gerald Nabarro (AKA “Old Whiskers” and “The Abominable Showman”, 1913 – 1973)

59

Lord Bell (Tim Bell, Baron Bell of Belgravia)

60

Teresa Gorman

61

Julia Child (1912 – 2004)

62

Keith Floyd (1943 – 2009)

63

Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart VC, KBE, CB, CMG, DSO (1880 – 1963)

64

Dan Bilzerian (AKA "Blitz")

65

Cognac Wellerlane

66

Thai Dang Cao (1953 – 2014)

67

Craig Brazier

68

Alejandro Flores

69

Doris Thompson

70

Gloria Minghella MBE (AKA “the Queen Mum of the Isle of Wight”, 1930 – 2014)

71

Clarissa Dickson Wright (1947 – 2014)

72

Wayne Bryson

73

Mary The Elephant (AKA ‘Murderous Mary’)

74

Fred Dibnah MBE (1938 – 2004)

75

Emeritus Professor Jane Somerville

76

Russell Brand

77

Cindy Crawford

78

Lady Camilla Bloch (born Lady Camilla Bingham)

79

Terry Deary

80

Dame Norma Major DBE

81

Jeannette Etheredge

82

Michael “Chalky” White

83

Nubar Gulbenkian (Armenian: Նուբար Սարգիս Գյուլբենկյան, 1896 – 1972)

84

Huguette Clark (1906 – 2011)

85

Viola Herms Drath (1920 – 2011)

86

Ian Towning

87

Ryan Lochte (nicknames 'Reezy' and 'The Lochtenator')

88

Jerry Hall

89

Austin 7 man

90

Martin the Poet

91

The Waitrose Clepto

92

Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, 18th Duchess of Alba (1926 – 2014)

93

Tim Tebow

94

The Most Hon the Marquess of Bath

95

Judy Joo

96

Toby Flood

97

Justin Timberlake

98

Jeremy Blake and Theresa Duncan (1971 – 2007 and 1966 – 2007)

99

Norman Balon

100

Bubble (2012 – 2013)

101

Dr. Vanessa Neumann

102

Martin Miller (1946 - 2013)

103

Lady Docker (Norah Docker, née Norah Turner and also Norah Callingham and Lady Collins, 1905 – 1983)

104

Beverly Cohen

105

Patricia Kluge (née Rose)

106

Charmian Brent (better known as Charmian Biggs)

107

David Nalbandian

108

April Ashley MBE (born Toni Jamieson)

109

Scott Disick

110

Andrew Embiricos (1985 – 2011)

111

Shireen Ritchie, The Rt. Hon. The Baroness Ritchie (1945 - 2012)

112

Eugene Carokis

113

Anouska Hempel (Lady Weinberg)

114

Joseph "Joey" Barton

115

Neil & Christine Hamilton

116

Iris Apfel

117

Marisa Masters (1925 – 2016)

21 COMMENTS

  1. Omg, what a tragedy that ‘Thai’ has died. Do you know any more details about this? I spent many a night in there and even met my wife there! A really iconic figure for the area.

  2. Ah Thai I am so sad, you could be a rude grumpy git but we will miss u so! You were too young to die, what happened!!! You owned and ran a truly rare, fabulous bar where I got lashed so many times, had the most fun of my life, thanks for being part of my youth and making my youth, I will have a drink on you today!

  3. I am so at loss for words.The most unique person i met in my life has passed away.It was an honour and a blessing to have worked for him.Nam Long Le Shaker was the greatest school of life i have attended.I am so,so grateful to you my teacher!.Today ,there is nothing that is hard for me to do .
    I have earned my bowl of rice .Memories from Nam Long and gained friendships are a priceless treasure .Thank you .My thoughts and prayers go out to your family.You will be greatly missed and never forgotten .
    Your waitress Anamarija.

  4. Not sure I kissed the ground like the Pope more like fell to the ground and hurt my kisser. The place was legendary. It was an honour to have had a drink with him. Damn we are the same age. Too young to die.

  5. This is one man that deserves a prime position in Brompton Cemetry if ever there was one
    So many fun times – A total legend – RIP

  6. How sad!
    Jimmy Wooster once witnessed two ladies, unfamiliar with Tai’s unique brand of customer relations, being refused entry.
    Tai: “You no come in! You go away!”
    “Oh, why?” They asked
    Tai, exasperated: “You OLD! You UGLY!”

    • And that is supposed to be witty? If you think so it bears out Doctor Johnson’s dictum that it takes a surgical operation to get a joke into the Scottish sense of humour

  7. Thai has gone so suddenly … we both shocked and so sad …
    Here is to convey our deepest condolences to Yen, Duyen and the family …
    We know how hard he worked to make Nam Long a legend in Chelsea …
    He was a rare controversial by nature but definitely not a boring, sometimes rude but also full of fun person, with lot of ideas and passion, some are still unfulfilled yet …
    Will missing him anytime we are in London again …
    NN & K

  8. Sadly one of the reasons to come and visit London has been taken from us. Thank you Thai for having NAM LONG Le Shaker at the end of my road. You were every inch a Londoner.

  9. What a sad news. Thaï will be greatly missed. I just can ´t count the numbers of evenings spent a Nam Long. I remember sitting on several occasions at this table talking French. This was an honour. Once we spent the whole night drinking whisky and smoking cigars (after the smoking ban 🙂 until 7am with the usual crowd. He was clearly a passionate person full of life and together with a strong personnality. Some would say he was grumpy but hearing him talking with passion about the orphanage he runned in Vietnam was something very spécial. We will miss you a lot. My thoughts go to the family and the staff. Does anybody know where and when the funerals will take place. ?

  10. I only heard yesterday as have been away from London, friends posted the Shaker had re-opened as was planning to visit.

    Mr Thai was a close friend to whom I owe a huge debt of gratitude, he asked me to go to Vietnam to write a piece on change in the country when I was at a turning point in my life; his work hard play hard ethic as I understood visiting Saigon with him (20 years ago) stemmed from his pride going back to his own country as a VIP after his exodas as a Mekong refugee and his determination to bring a fairer business opportunity for his fellow beautiful people after their own period of extreme suffering.

    I’m glad he lived long enough to see his change happen …. but heartbroken not to have seen him prior to his death…

    However all those who passed his discriminating (quite rightly) entry to his private table debates about the world of the day will know they, thankfully, will have the best company in heaven.

    XX Rest in Peace my friend

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