Music lovers and musicians alike looking for a relaxing live music experience in Hoi An’s Old Town will find a home for the evening at Fender Bar. From brooding Vietnamese love ballads to Western classics like The Eagles’ ‘Hotel California’ and Carlos Santana’s ‘Black Magic Woman’, there is something for everyone at Fender Bar.
This operation formerly went under the banner of Guitar Hawaii in a couple of different locations near Old Town before rebranding as Fender Bar in more spacious surroundings at its current spot on An Hoi by the water.
Near An Hoi, Fender Bar offers an extensive drink menu in a relaxed space that is decidedly more Vietnamese than Western. Drink prices are fair considering the music is free and the service is brisk and attentive. Local beer can be had for 35,000 VND (1.50 USD) while cocktails range from 90,000 to 140,000 VND (4 to 6 USD).
Relax in a small, intimate space and watch a variety of performers take the stage in open-mic performances accompanied by a live band. Request an instrumental styling of your favorite song from the band’s large roster of Vietnamese, English, and French songs or get up and belt it out yourself — there is no pretension here.
One gets the feeling that Fender Bar functions more as a local music club for amateur performers and musicians than other open-mic settings. The band personnel changes regularly as do the feature singers. And, the band plays continuously – that’s right, there are no breaks – until closing at 11pm.
The respectful crowd is primarily Vietnamese (many of whom are experienced performers themselves) with a handful of Western patrons who flow in and out throughout the evening. Live music begins at 8pm and the crowd gets lively around 9:30pm.
If you’re looking for a relaxing environment to have a few drinks and appreciate some live music away from Old Town’s floor-stomping bar scene, then Fender Bar is where you need to be.