The Making of a Cafe

Nha Trang Travel Blog

 › entry 66 of 126 › view all entries
Mixing concrete
 

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 with an uncertain future
Welders put the framework together to shape the main building. Then came a crew of carpenters to saw and hammer trim and interior while electricians wired the place. Walls facing the beach across Tran Phu Street were of glass, as was that facing the fish pond and outdoor tea garden. Rough-cut 12 X 12-inch hardwood timbers were trimmed and shaped on-site to add an open-air patio. Its flat roof was of alternating wood and glass.

 

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
The owners, from Hanoi, remained calm, cool, and collective as timely deliveries arrived by small truck, cyclo, or motorbike. Several palm trees were brought in along with pre-grown grass and flowers. Just days before opening, electricians wired the grounds with lighting and outlets. Indoor-outdoor speakers crackled to life playing American oldies put to a disco beat. I heard the music before at a coffee and ice cream place just up the street and wondered if the owners there were from Hanoi too.

 

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.

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Mixing concrete
Mixing concrete
Y with an uncertain future
Y with an uncertain future
The Paramount
The Paramount
Floorplan
Floorplan
Framework
Framework
Another load of sand
Another load of sand
Cutting concrete trim
Cutting concrete trim
Paramount
Paramount
Main building
Main building
Streetside beer
Streetside beer
Metal workers
Metal workers
Welder
Welder
Interior
Interior
Laborers
Laborers
Fish pond at the Paramount
Fish pond at the Paramount
My beer table
My beer table
Carpenters
Carpenters
Electrician
Electrician
Open for business
Open for business
Sand piles
Sand piles
Taking shape
Taking shape
Sander
Sander
Patio from Y and Tiens
Patio from Y and Tien's
Outside patio
Outside patio
Taking shape
Taking shape
Trimming
Trimming
Sanding
Sanding
Putting the P on the Paramount
Putting the P on the Paramount
The valet
The valet
Carpenters
Carpenters
The patio
The patio
First beer in the patio
First beer in the patio
In the patio
In the patio
Patio
Patio
Y and Tiens from the patio
Y and Tien's from the patio
The fish pond and main building
The fish pond and main building
Nha Trang
photo by: rotorhead85