According to Yan.vn, municipal authorities have ordered the building’s trendy coffee shops and stores to vacate within 15 days from one of Saigon’s coffee hotspots. They did so in compliance with Vietnam’s law on residential spaces.
A Coffee Shop Institution
The city will definitely lose one of its attractions, and coffee shop favourites like Saigon Oi or Partea will have to find a new location.
It should be noted that 42 Nguyen Hue only very recently (2014) filled up with the trendy coffee shops and stores, reducing the number of actually inhabited apartments to barely 20. In the past three years, the converted apartment building has become one of the premier destinations for coffee drinkers looking to enjoy their latte with a prime view of Saigon’s bustling pedestrian zone.
What started as an insider tip among Saigoneers quickly became a must for every city visit, and the municipal authorities have taken note: the rents rose and now range from VND 20 to 35 million ($900-1,500) for a Block A unit looking down on the walking street.
Tenants Embrace the Ban
But as always, there are two sides to this: the building’s remaining tenants mention noise pollution and safety issues as main points of disturbance. To be fair: who would want to share their house with hundreds and hundreds of coffee enthusiasts blocking the stairs and elevators?
According to Vietnamese laws, businesses are not allowed to be housed in apartment units. However, Saigon’s hideaway coffee shops, bars, restaurants and stores give the city a unique character that municipal authorities don’t have any interest in compromising.
Enjoy Them as Long as You Can
No wonder that city officials are in no rush to enforce the plans to evict businesses from housing blocks, a news that had already been spread last year. But it’s bound to happen, so visit your favourite 42 Nguyen Hue cafe soon, as it could be the last time you can.