New lounges are mushrooming again in Ho Chi Minh City and offering a range of music options to meet increasing demands of young and middle-class patrons.
Overseas Vietnamese singer Y Lan performs at music lounge bar WE Photo: Tuoi Tre
They are no longer in District 1 alone: There are WE, C’est Moi, and Da Quy in District 3, Gia Vien in Go Vap, and Bonhai in Phu Nhuan District.
The patrons are mostly young middle-class people who come for a specific kind of music.
Tieng Xua features overseas Vietnamese singers like Bach Yen, Y Lan, Tuan Ngoc, and Truong Vu while French music lovers can have a good time at C’est Moi and Nghe Thuat lounge.
Nhac Trinh lounge in Tan Binh District is renowned for playing music of the legendary composer Trinh Cong Son.
An Nam in Truong Dinh Street, District 3, plays Spanish music on the main stage and symphony music in the basement.
The lounges also carefully focus on sound quality, lighting, and décor.
A new jazz lounge situated in an underground garage on Dang Van Ngu Street bears the strange name of “Bonhai.”
“Because I cannot register an English name, I’ve used the address, number 42, for the name. However, since the law does not allow numerals either, I write the number in words [bon hai is 42 in Vietnamese]. Written together and without the tones, it can have different meanings.”