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Stores close en masse on Ho Chi Minh City’s famous dining street

Thursday, March 05, 2020, 12:40 GMT+7
Stores close en masse on Ho Chi Minh City’s famous dining street
A location of the Doha coffee franchise is shuttered on Phan Xich Long Street in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre

A number of restaurants and coffee shops have been shuttered over the course of a week on one of the busiest dining streets in Ho Chi Minh City for unknown reasons.

The happenings have gone on down Phan Xich Long Street in Phu Nhuan District, which is just next to the city center.

The street is home to many of the city’s most popular restaurant and coffee franchises, making the rental cost of retail spaces there almost as spendy as those in the CBD.

According to a representative of a franchiser which runs a drinks shop on Phan Xich Long Street, it can cost up to US$15,000 a month to lease a prime location on this street. 

Over the past week, a handful of restaurant and café brands have closed their retail spaces on Phan Xich Long, according to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporters' observation.

GrabBike drivers park their motorbikes in front of a building, where a coffee shop once operated, that is now up for rent on Phan Xich Long Street in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre

GrabBike drivers park their motorbikes in front of a building, where a coffee shop once operated, that is now up for rent on Phan Xich Long Street in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre

A location of the Honki Udon restaurant franchise is shuttered on Phan Xich Long Street in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre

A location of the Honki Udon restaurant franchise is shuttered on Phan Xich Long Street in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre

The Palan coffee shop operator announced the suspension of its store on Phan Xich Long Street via a Facebook post last week, while a Doha Café location on the same street has also been closed down since February 24 although it was only launched in September last year.

Likewise, Terra Coffee & Tea closed its store on this street after only seven months operating there, while still maintaining normal business at its four other branches.

Nguyen Thu Oanh, the operations manager of Doha’s management company, told Tuoi Tre that the overpriced cost of retail spaces there has caused many “difficulties” for its business.

Meanwhile, a Terra Coffee & Tea representative only mentioned some “private reasons” for its store close-down.

Both of these café brands said the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic has left negative impacts on their businesses, but not significantly.

A location of the Dolpan sam restaurant franchise is shuttered on Phan Xich Long Street in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre

A location of the Dolpan sam restaurant franchise is shuttered on Phan Xich Long Street in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre

A banner advertising the leasing of retail space is hung outside a building where a Taiwanese bubble tea store once operated on Phan Xich Long Street in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre

A banner advertising the leasing of retail space is hung outside a building where a Taiwanese bubble tea store once operated on Phan Xich Long Street in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre

Other restaurant chains, such as Food House and Honki Udon, also made similar sudden shutdowns of its stores on Phan Xich Long Street in the past week.

COVID-19, which first surfaced in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019, has infected over 95,000 people and killed nearly 3,300 globally, according to the Vietnamese Ministry of Health.

In Vietnam, the virus infected a total of 16 people, all of whom have fully recovered. The country has not reported new infections since February 13.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc noted a “declining growth rate” across many sectors of the economy as he chaired a regular government meeting in Hanoi on Tuesday, according to the official Vietnam News Agency.

He demanded “maximum possible assistance” to production and business activities given the complications of the COVID-19 epidemic.

A paper is posted outside a Doha coffee shop on Phan Xich Long Street announcing the store’s shutdown in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre

A paper is posted outside a Doha coffee shop on Phan Xich Long Street announcing the store’s shutdown in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre

Inside a location of a restaurant franchise that has been shuttered on Phan Xich Long Street in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre

Inside a location of a restaurant franchise that has been shuttered on Phan Xich Long Street in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre

A location of the Food House restaurant franchise is shuttered on Phan Xich Long Street in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre

A location of the Food House restaurant franchise is shuttered on Phan Xich Long Street in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre

A man sits in front of a building, where a foreign restaurant once operated, that is now up for rent on Phan Xich Long Street in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre

A man sits in front of a building, where a foreign restaurant once operated, that is now up for rent on Phan Xich Long Street in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre

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