Beer clubs, which offer entertainment services similar to bars and discos, have been booming in many big cities. However, there are currently no regulations on managing this type of business, causing difficulties for authorized agencies in deterring violations.
Beer clubs appeared in Ho Chi Minh City three years ago, providing foods and drinks alongside music, professional DJs, and performances by promotional girls.
Soon enough, the model expanded to other big cities like Hanoi and Vung Tau. In Hanoi alone, there is already a wide array of beer clubs, serving thousands of customers per day.
Nguyen Hoai Lan, in Hanoi’s Hoaan Kiem district said that she and her group of friends frequent some beer clubs near Hoan Kiem Lake.
“It has everything – foods, drinks, music, performances… and it’s much cheaper than bars or discos,” she said. On average, a beer costs between VND25,000-VND50,000.
Lan said she and her friends could go and have fun in the daytime, rather than waiting until night to go to bars or discos.
An owner of a beer club, who wished to remain anonymous, said that investing in a bar or club was not a simple feat.
The owners must meet strict regulations before being able to open a venue. The bars must be located in licensed areas, and be granted operation licences to start their business.
In case they sold wine and strong alcohol, they must be licensed to trade in this kind of goods and pay appropriate taxes. All bars must close at midnight.
Even after following strict regulations, most bars and clubs only get customers from 10pm until midnight. The two hours of operation was not enough to turn a profit, he said, adding that many bars have switched to being beer clubs, seeking profit and looser regulations.
Nguyen Thi Bach Ngan, vice chairwoman of Ba Ria-Vung Tau province’s Vung Tau city said that the city was encouraging such services to attract visitors.
Currently, there are about 18 beer clubs, bars and discos in the province, 12 of which are located in Vung Tau city.
However, Ngan said the city found it hard to manage this type of business as there is a shortage of legal documents and specific regulations for it.
Beer clubs were not listed as special businesses such as bars or nightclubs, but could not be listed as food service businesses either. Basically, they provide loud music, lighting, professional DJs and promotional girls, which is exactly the same as bars and discos have done, she added.
Dang Minh Thong, vice chairman of the provincial People’s Committee affirmed that this model of entertainment service should be encouraged in cities to attract tourists.
However, the operation of such services must be licensed and managed by authorized agencies to avoid negative impacts on local residents living nearby and ensure security and order.
They must not be located in residential areas or near schools, he added.