Nguyen Phi Linh has created the place for bike culture in Ho Chi Minh City. For bikers, by a biker. Photos by Vinh Dao.
Biker Shield is a bistro with a beautiful bar and cafe-style ambience as you walk in; a commercial motorcycle apparel shop upstairs (with authentic Red Wing boots.. what?!); and a beautiful outdoor barbeque area for hosting events.
“The concept has three purposes, but overall, I want the whole place to be a destination for everyone, whether they are bikers, or not.” Nguyen says. “It’s the atmosphere of a ‘biker’s hang out’, because everyone has grown up with films and media [portraying] the ‘cool motorcycle rider’.”
There’s so much to look at in Biker Shield. The attention to detail is remarkable.
“I see the value of old things. I see the beauty of classic motorcycles, architecture, down to the tables I have upstairs – they’re old sewing machine tables. The seats we’re sitting on right now – old american muscle car seats. I want to repurpose things. Like [right when you walk in] there’s an old military truck that used to carry SAM missiles driving the design of the bar. It’s not scrap or junk. There’s always a way to use these things with a fresh perspective and purpose.
Nguyen has created a perfect example of taking an old property in a rough hem, and transforming the entire street into a hip new destination spot. Other entrepreneurs take note, this is the future of business development in Ho Chi Minh City.
“I was a biker and classic motorcycle collector for 15 years.” Nguyen Phi Linh says. “That’s my hobby. Recently, about two-and-a-half years ago, I had my friend who does commercial merchandise for commercial apparel. It started as an apparel shop for bikers, but I was looking for a more in-depth concept. I acquired this building eight months ago. This hem is beautiful. Since we moved here, a lot of things in this hem have improved.” Nguyen explains. “We talked with the government about making this area like a playground for so many different interests. This space used to be two different houses, approximately 100-years-old.”
Nguyen and Biker Shield is providing a whole modern motorcycle culture in Saigon the home that it that doesn’t necessarily have yet. It definitely doesn’t hurt that the aesthetics of the space will have patrons coming back daily.