BEFORE AND NOW $$
Before and Now strives to be an all-in-one venue, with coffee, cake, beer, cocktails, pizza and a large pull-down sports screen, as well as pool tables, table football, and a wide variety of bar games, most notably what they’ve dubbed ‘Alcohol Chess.’ There are plenty of specials – a 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 here than is 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 at 115,000 VND, or about $5 USD) and with large bottles of Saigon at just 30,000 VND ($1.30 USD) we weren’t complaining. Upstairs, the restaurant has a splendid balcony for people-watching overlooking the intersection of Le Loi and Nguyen Thai Hoc, and there’s an extensive – though Italian-dominated – international menu.
Later in the evening, when its central location has attracted enough punters, Before and Now can get lively, and the music gets ramped up to energize the crowd.