The Making of a Cafe
Nha Trang Travel Blog› entry 66 of 126 › view all entries
From a cardboard-box beer table and plastic chair at Y and Tien's sidewalk kiosk on Tran Phu Street, I watched the Paramount Café take shape from the ground up for more than two months. Every few days I took random pictures of the workers or their progress.
At times there were more than thirty workers on site. The laborers were the backbone of the project from beginning to end working long hard hours. Their tools were mainly shovels, wheel barrows, gloves, and buckets. Besides continually moving building materials and laying bricks, they mixed cement from sand, rock, and water for the foundation columns, floors (later covered with tiles), sidewalk trim, flower basins, and a garden fish pond complete with an arched bridge.
Metal workers set up a small open-air workshop where they trimmed and drilled trusses for the roof.
Y and Tien turned a good business during the project. They had plastic tables and chairs set up throughout the site. Many of the workers took coffee, tea, or bottled water during breaks or lunch. Foremen bought snacks as well.
Big shots in sunglasses and long-sleeve shirts paced back and forth while talking on cell phones.
The Paramount had immediate character and style from the day it opened on February 6. It seems to rival the Sailing Club and the Louisianne Brewhouse for its airy outdoor setting (and prices). Since the grand opening, Y and Tien have been able to stay in the area but had to shuffle their sidewalk carts to a lower profile behind the Sacombank ATM machine. A uniformed valet sits where my cardboard box used to, watching over shiny motorbikes of middle- and upper-class customers. I was just thankful that the Paramount was not a Starbucks, the world has enough of those.