Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam

1. Tell us about yourself.

“My name is Hà Phương Thảo – Owner of La Moon Rooftop. I was born in 1997, and attended the MBA program at Ubis Geneva University.

“La Moon Rooftop is my first business, located in Hồ Chí Minh city – the most crowded city in Vietnam. This city inspired me to build my business, and in return, I want to inspire the young people of this country to persevere with their dreams, be the breakthrough generation that they are meant to be. I believe that ‘successful people often have their own way’.”

2. What was the inspiration behind your venue?

“Hồ Chí Minh city never sleeps; the streets are always crowded and bustling. When we think of a beer garden, bar or cocktail station, in Vietnam we often think of a hot, loud spot where people come to together with the main purpose of drinking.

“La Moon Rooftop is a completely different model. Customers here can enjoy a full experience, with exceptional cocktails, a breath-taking view, a gentle breeze, and soft lo-fi music. La Moon is a place to relax with your friends after a long day or a hard week, where time seems to slow down for the night.” 

3. What’s most unique about your outdoor space?

“In my opinion, the special thing about La Moon Rooftop is that this place is a den for students.  The cocktails start at an equivalent of £3; customers can enjoy 5-star service while being able to spend on a budget. Plus, guests come to the bar to drink cocktails or beer, just to chill and chat – not to drink in order to get drunk.

“Also, we don’t have seats at the bar – we are the perfect combination between a bar and a café.” 

4. How does having an outdoor space affect your footfall?

“This model is only successful with an original, comfortable outdoor space available, and a really nice view to tie it all in (obviously!). To open La Moon, I had to spend 5 months finding a space that really suited the direction of the venue. Once that’s done, rest assured it will work out just fine.”

5. What sort of advice would you give to another bar operator looking to renovate their outdoor space?

“I really don’t think I’m good enough to give advice to other bar operators. Nonetheless, I do stand by this: if the view is the pinnacle of the venue, then the bartender is the soul of the bar. Customers come for the first time because of the view, but tasty drinks and good service are what keep customers coming back.

“Also, the menu should be suitable for all kinds of palate. A more varied range – including non-alcoholic options – will be just the right excuse to stay longer, or come back more often, and try them all!”

Hà Phương Thảo is truly inspirational; his business built on believing in the younger generation shows hope in a bright future for the industry, maybe even brighter than hospitality like we know it now – which says a lot!

Next Rising from the ashes