ClockMonday, 31/08/2020 09:41

Finding old memories in nostalgic coffee shops

TTH.VN - Recently, many rustic coffee shops with nostalgic theme of decades ago have appeared in Hue city, such as He coffee shop (Vo Thi Sau street), Lạ (Nhat Le street), 1976 (Hai Trieu street), Doi 6 (Le Quy Don street) ... Visitors come to these coffee shops to find old memories.

Good news for the ancient townPeace and tranquility with the old cornersOne more entertainment spot for touristsStaycation - Why not?

King Coffee attracts a stable flow of customers.


Like any other guests, I chose myself a spot at King Coffee (31 Le Huan street, Hue city), where I can enjoy both the shop’s decoration and the green park to the West side of the Imperial City in a cool summer afternoon.

The shop is designed with simple decorations and antiques of the old world such as a Peugeot bike from the French Colonial era, a black & white TV, a gas mantle, a grandfather’s clock, a cassette player, etc… In the yellow light, the old objects remind ones many childhood memories.

The owner, Mr. Ho La, used to be a bicycle and motorcycle repairman on Nguyen Du Street, Hue city. His colleagues said that he came from a poor family, so he had to try to make a living early. However, due to his passion for antiques, he often spent a lot of time collecting and exchanging them everywhere.

When he owned a rather vast treasure of old items, he decided to rent a house on Le Huân Street 3 months ago and opened a coffee shop. As he shared, King Coffee was born not for revenue, it was just because of his desire to keep a space for himself - a meeting place for the like-minded guests to relax and enjoy.

A collection of accessories worn by Empress Dowagers of the Nguyen Dynasty

The three main factors that make up a distinctive feature for King Coffee are antiques, old music, and guests of the older generation. They come to the shop just to look back at old objects and tell each other stories of the past with many nostalgia.

Mr. Ho Nguyen Anh, a photography lover living on Le Thanh Ton street, Hue city, often goes to King Coffee to relax after tired hours. He shared that this space reminded him of a period of the hard times when he had to wait in line to buy food using food stamps, the days when he had to eat potato, cassavaand coix seed instead of rice.

Valuable “collections”

Away from the bustling streets, stepping into Antique Coffee (Shop) (71 La Son Phu Tu street) is like entering a time machine, traveling way back to dozens and hundreds of years in the past. Taking the dark brown color of the old ruong house as the main theme, along with a reasonable layout, Antique Coffee creates an unmixable character.

The wooden furniture, old bookshelves, the space of Antique Coffee even make friends and guests more nostalgic with "old" items, such as ceramic jars, flower pots and bowls and chopsticks of theancient Vietnamese.

A highly valuable unique collection is also preserved here such as thrones, altar, jam tray, Phap lam(Vitreous Enamel) painting ... from the Nguyen Dynasty and the jewels such as brooch, earrings, and household items of Empress Dowagers. Once coming here, people will be attracted to both enjoy a cup of coffee and chat and live slowly with the antiques as time passing by.

The owner of Antique Coffee introducing an Indochinese painting made of Vitreous Enamel of more than 100 years ago.

The owner of Antique Coffee is Mr. Tran Viet Dai, a 35-year-old lecturer at Hue College of Transport, told us that many people who came to the shop thought he was famous among Hue antique collectors.

In reality, he was just a lecturer with average wage, but because of his passion, he has a fate with antiques. And when there’s passion, there’re effort and time dedicated to it. 

After his teaching hours, Dai usually comes to bottle barns, houses of people and divers in rural areas to find, collect and exchange antiques, then reorganizing them into collections such as pottery, tableware, paintings and metal jewelry to display at his shop.

Filled with passion, the items, either old or ancient, have their own great spiritual value to him. Looking at them, he feels the movement of ancient culture in every changing rhythm of life. Antique Coffee is a dream that is cherished for many years, rose from his passion for antiques.

And from these places, the cultural and historical values are preserved and spread far and wide, from locals to foreigners visiting them. That is the reason why the "nostalgic" coffee shops are not crowded, but still keep a stable number of customers.

Story: Minh Van – Photos: Anh Tuan

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