Giles Cooper, one of the owners, is a huge craft beer enthusiast, who has always jumped at the opportunity to “grab a bottle of beer from here and there and bring it back into Vietnam.” Chris Vella, who is part owner of The Republic, had already been making moves to start pushing craft beer in Hanoi when they were talking together with Dan Dockery, the man behind Highway 4, about opening a craft beer bar. Soon that idea became a reality, and one week after broaching the concept, they had found the space they wanted and were beginning to strip it back and turn it into a bar. Three months later, the bar had its grand opening.
Something for Everyone
Although Standing Bar was opened just two months ago, the watering hole is well-timed, with craft beer culture growing in Hanoi. In the last year or so, craft beer has been introduced to the capital thanks to Pasteur Street Brewery and Furbrew; Standing Bar continues the trend with the beers all costing between VND50,000 and VND100,000. The tapas, a selection of tasteful seafood, sausages and bacon, and cheese and olives, are available for VND30,000 to VND120,000. If you find yourself there with friends, yet you’re not a huge beer drinker, ask them about their house wines and spirits. Keep an eye out for the beer cocktails, to come soon.
No beer or food is fixed on the board, as the menu changes day to day. Craft beer changes with the seasons, and with that comes tastes for different foods. This was considered when Standing Bar was created, and the thought-out tapas menu is created to complement each beer. The knowledgeable and efficient staff are up-to-date with the current menu, and are fast with the service, as well as being happy to answer any questions about the beer.
Stand Up and Be Counted
The concept of Standing Bar was drawn from the Japanese tachinomiya, which literally means a stand-up bar. The purpose of this open, spacious drinking haunt, with limited seating available, is to keep the atmosphere mobile. They want people moving around and talking, rather than sitting down with the same group and not mixing.
The old house was stripped back to create a modern-rustic bar area using furniture that is all upcycled. This gives the bar a warm, homey feel to it, almost as if you were attending a casual party at a friend’s house, with chill upbeat music creating the ambiance.
The space is also set up for events, with a stage area fit for a band, a DJ or even a comedy set or two. From this month Standing Bar will be hosting the comedy shows that were previously staged at CAMA ATK and Son Tinh Lounge, and expect live music to also enter the fray. Standing Bar is also set up and equipped for private events that may need a stage area, projector, speakers or just good beer.
Standing Bar is at 170 Tran Vu, Ba Dinh, Hanoi and is open daily from 4pm to 12pm
Photos by Teigue John Blokpoel