Fun hip-hop and soul at the newest club for an international crowd. By Elijah Ferrian. Photos by Piu Piu.
Open for just over a month, Piu Piu is the club and bar for people that don’t take themselves too seriously – in the best ways possible. Whether it’s rubber ducks hanging from the ceiling, the laid-back no dress code vibe, or the fact that owner Lee Lam wants this to be a place where anybody feels comfortable.
Lee’s from Paris, and spent nine years in China operating clubs there. He came out to Vietnam because of the young, vibrant energy that has been taking over the club and music scene. “We keep a relaxed vibe with no dress code,” he says, “but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t get rowdy. There’s just a positive vibe with the people that come here. Every night is like a party with a bunch of close friends.”
If that’s what they’re aiming for, then it’s being nailed down solid. Lee and I have a drink and stand at the bar. I observe the small dance floor with a uniquely Vietnamese DJ booth housed in a food cart. The music this evening is a great mix of classic hip-hop jams mixed well with current rap bangers that has everyone moving for all the right reasons.
“It’s like 50/50 Vietnamese to foreigners here. Every night,” he tells me. I look around and sure enough it certainly seems to be exactly that. We manoeuvred up to the rooftop bar and lounge where there was a belting track from the King of Soul himself, James Brown, hollering its way out into the warm Sunday night air. They have found a nice balance here. You can really get into dancing and losing yourself in the party atmosphere, or camp out at the rooftop bar and continue a conversation that was battered out by the decibels downstairs.
Perhaps most interesting, beside the fact that Piu Piu also just started serving roasted chicken, is that they specifically feature Vietnamese musicians twice a month. Most recently they showcased a set by popular South Side rapper Suboi.
This city is alive with the energy of a young, creative brand of artists for a new generation. Piu Piu is doing a really great job of capturing that feeling, and using it to power a proper club that has its arms open for everybody.