The Republic has become a mainstay of the Quang An strip, and a favourite of expats and locals who have a craving for sport, or who want to tuck into some pub food with a view.
The People’s Republic
“We wanted somewhere we could watch some sports,” says Chris. “At the time there weren’t many options, so we opened our own place.”
“It took a couple of months to find the [site], but once we had it I gave my notice in at Al Fresco’s and we moved in. Within eight weeks we were up and running.”
He adds: “This actually used to be a bia hoi, although it didn’t come out to the road as far; we built the front ourselves. All of the tiles on the floor are from the bia hoi, and a few other features as well.”
Five years ago, Tay Ho was a sleepy suburb with nothing much going on. Bia hoi and noodle restaurants were about as much entertainment as the area offered.
“A few places came and went on Quang An over the years, and a couple became staples, but from the start we didn’t have much competition because none of them were showing sport,” says Chris, “although there was a little jealousy from some of the neighbours.”
“On the morning of our first anniversary one of them walked in with a bucket of fermented fish guts, went up to the second floor and chucked the whole thing down the stairs, then walked out again.
“We just stood there with our mouths open, nobody could believe it.
“On the second anniversary we were all waiting for someone to come around again, but they never came, and we haven’t had any trouble since.
“In fact most of the neighbours are used to the place now. The family who used to run the bia hoi sent their daughter over to work here, she’s our supervisor now.”
Being a sports pub, The Republic naturally draws the attention of local teams.
“We sponsor the Hanoi Dragons Rugby Team, they come in here every Wednesday after practice for some food and a couple of beers,” says Chris.
With any luck they’ll be on hand the next time someone tries to throw a bucket of fish guts over the floor.
PHOTOS BY TEIGUE JOHN BLOKPOEL
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