Print this page

Tay Ho’s first dedicated sports pub, Republic, made its mark on the capital a few years back after owner Chris Vella finished his eight-year stint as a manager with the Al Fresco’s Group.

The Republic has become a mainstay of the Quang An strip, and a favourite of expats and locals who have a craving for sport, or who want to tuck into some pub food with a view.


The People’s Republic


“We wanted somewhere we could watch some sports,” says Chris. “At the time there weren’t many options, so we opened our own place.”


“It took a couple of months to find the [site], but once we had it I gave my notice in at Al Fresco’s and we moved in. Within eight weeks we were up and running.”


He adds: “This actually used to be a bia hoi, although it didn’t come out to the road as far; we built the front ourselves. All of the tiles on the floor are from the bia hoi, and a few other features as well.”



Five years ago, Tay Ho was a sleepy suburb with nothing much going on. Bia hoi and noodle restaurants were about as much entertainment as the area offered.


“A few places came and went on Quang An over the years, and a couple became staples, but from the start we didn’t have much competition because none of them were showing sport,” says Chris, “although there was a little jealousy from some of the neighbours.”


“On the morning of our first anniversary one of them walked in with a bucket of fermented fish guts, went up to the second floor and chucked the whole thing down the stairs, then walked out again.


“We just stood there with our mouths open, nobody could believe it.


“On the second anniversary we were all waiting for someone to come around again, but they never came, and we haven’t had any trouble since.


“In fact most of the neighbours are used to the place now. The family who used to run the bia hoi sent their daughter over to work here, she’s our supervisor now.”


Being a sports pub, The Republic naturally draws the attention of local teams.


“We sponsor the Hanoi Dragons Rugby Team, they come in here every Wednesday after practice for some food and a couple of beers,” says Chris.


With any luck they’ll be on hand the next time someone tries to throw a bucket of fish guts over the floor.




To read the other articles in this series, click on the following links:

Rarely do you get a tiny, street-side eatery that has made itself into a photo opportunity. But ...
Indian restaurants have had their place in Hanoi for many years, serving up all sorts of treats —
Eating Thai food in Vietnam in a street food setting just got easier with the opening of Thai ...
The concept behind MAD Society — Modern Asian Dining, is to take traditional Vietnamese dishes,
Established in Hong Kong back in 2013, and landing in Hanoi two years later, Linguini Fini ...
Tay Ho’s first dedicated sports pub, Republic, made its mark on the capital a few years back after
When Lubu opened just under five years ago, it was the only restaurant on the Lang Bao Chi end of
Some people go to extreme lengths to hire the right staff. In the case of Peter Holdsworth, ...
Chops is one of those success stories that restaurateurs dream about. Established in 2015 by
Revellers drinking at the recently opened Q Bar on Ngo Quang Huy will find themselves in an ...

Billy Gray

Billy arrived in Hanoi in November 2015 with the intention of staying for just six months. He didn’t expect that flights to leave would be so expensive, so decided instead to stay and write for the Word.

Related items