Before and Now attempts to be an all-in-one venue for ‘everyman’ with coffee, cake, beer, cocktails, pizza and large pull-down sport screen. There are plenty of specials – free fruit plate with breakfast; free San Miguel with pizza – offered throughout the day. Centrally located on Le Loi, a high percentage of the clientele are young and transient.
A little cheaper than some of the other venues there’s a slightly harder edge than found in the bars in Nguyen Thai Hoc – the music’s more likely mainstream rock than cruisy – and the ambiance screams beer or vodka cruiser more than cocktail.
The extensive pub menu is more affordable than many competitors (thick crusted pizza 115,000 VND) and with large bottles of Saigon at just 30,000 VND we weren’t complaining. Upstairs, the restaurant has a splendid-people watching aspect overlooking the intersection of Le Loi and Nguyen Thai Hoc and there’s an extensive international menu dominated by Italian options.
Later in the evening, Before and Now can get lively if its central location has attracted enough punters and the music is ramped up to energize the crowd.