The “brother partnership” of Lee Korngvong and Lee Kongsren has sparked the development of Pub Street in Siem Reap and helped establish it as one of the most popular destinations in town.
Under the leadership of the two local brothers, Temple Group has grown into a brand name which owns operations in the hospitality, entertainment and food and beverage (F&B) sectors in Siem Reap’s vibrant tourism scene.
Seventeen years ago, Lee Korngvong, managing director, and Lee Kongsren designed a small flyer to help tourists locate pubs on the street next to the old market in the town centre of Siem Reap. It was then when “Pub Street” was first used to describe the now famous location.
Back then, it was only home to a few small businesses but the opening of Temple Pub, which was later renamed as Temple Club, changed Pub Street’s destiny.
The Lee brothers were originally working as drivers when they came across the chance to own and operate a small local guesthouse (Get Lucky Guesthouse). From there on, they gradually built the Temple brand.
As of April this year, Temple Group has more than 1,200 staff, making it one of Siem Reap’s biggest employers and an integral member of the city’s business landscape.
Being locals who always remember their roots, they are very supportive of the local community.
They have a keen interest on Khmer entrepreneurship, always helping local budding entrepreneurs to kick-start their businesses. They also work with local suppliers whenever possible to promote Cambodian businesses and help smaller businesses grow.
The brothers founded the first of the Temple brand business, Temple Bar (which was renamed Temple Club) in 2002, adding to the fun and excitement in Pub Street.
This year, Temple Group added Kitchen 2002 into its line of restaurants. The restaurant’s cozy environment is one of its main attraction.
Another project in the pipeline is “The One by T”, which the group claims will be the restaurant with the highest seating capacity (300 people) in town. It will serve as a fine dining venue with superb food presentation and excellent service for high-end diners.
Last year, The Chef 1950 Steak House opened its doors on the end of Pub Street. Being the first Brazilian Samba grill steakhouse and the only place serving cider on draft in town against a backdrop of warm 1950s vibe, it is popular among the town’s fashionable crowd.
Another popular venue, V design, sits on a corner of the Pub Street crossroad, opposite Temple F&B and Red Piano. It serves a blend of Asian fusion and great authentic Japanese food. Live music is performed from 7.30pm by a resident singer here.
For an authentic Cambodian dining experience, foodies can visit Khmer Family and also participate in cooking classes conducted by the restaurant’s local chefs.
Another option for authentic local food is Traditional Khmer Food, the smallest Temple Group F&B venue, which is tucked in a small alley behind Pub Street.
On the other hand, Temple Group’s exquisite luxury resort - Golden Temple Retreat - was selected as the Top 25 Hotels - World in TripAdvisor’s 2019 Travellers’ Choice Awards.