Team Spirit

Sports fans find a new place to call home in Saigon

There’s something to be said about being able to walk into any sports bar in the world, root for the local team, and instantly be surrounded by new friends. Sure, Kaka’s defense-splitting pass for a game-winning goal and Roger Federer’s glorious down-the- line backhand look exactly the same on your screen at home, but it’s tough to beat the camaraderie that sports engender, together sharing euphoric wins as well as soul- crushing defeats with equal amounts of passion.

oi-vietnam-january-2015-fan-club-additional-shots--3*Images by Neil Featherstone

According to researchers, the “insanely but divinely inspired” fanaticus experiences real effects from watching sports, both physiological and emotional (including having higher self-esteem, are less depressed, less alienated and less lonely). Perhaps it’s the sense of community and belonging that comes with sharing intense experiences. Fandom also affects how we eat, with studies, perhaps not surprisingly, showing that sports fans consume foods higher in fat more often, eat more fast food and less vegetables and drink more alcoholic beverages on the days we choose to drink than do non-sports fans. We are who we are, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.


Since opening just over six months ago, The Fan Club (located at The Vista, 628C Hanoi Highway, D2) is out to meet the adrenaline (and nutritional) needs of sports fans with its 12 large screens (nine 55-inch and three 2-meter projection) and extensive menu featuring classic Asian and Western comfort foods in a decidedly posh space.


Who Knows?

Tearing a page out of Nike’s hugely successful “Bo Knows” campaign (featuring Bo Jackson who played professional baseball and football in the same year), The Fan Club knows entertainment. Owned by DTD Entertainment and set up by Director Barry Winters whose list of accomplishments include Creative Director for Dancing With the Stars (Thailand) and Chief Designer for an interior design company, The Fan Club brings sports entertainment to a new league, from the Vegas-inspired custom feature wall sporting more than 8,500 angled wood bricks to the hand-painted portraits of dozens of entertainment icons spanning the decades ranging from Serena Williams and Larry Bird to Dita Von Teese and Frank Sinatra.


Upmarket venue aside, to make the cut, any self-respecting sports bar needs to have live sports and lots of it, accompanied by great, reasonably priced food and great beer, also in copious amounts. The Fan Club delivers on all those counts. Whatever your passion, expect to see almost every televised sport known to television available, live- streamed on massive screens lining the walls. “When we set up, we called in FPT and got four fiber optic lines direct to The Fan Club,” says Barry. “When most people break down for bad weather, we’re fine. Every TV shows internet television and we can stream every single sport here. We’ve bought links to the NFL, AFL, you name it. The three big screens are connected to their own PCs and an enclosed outdoor garden area will also soon have its own projection TV.”


Set up as a bar and a lounge, the bar area features darts and billiards with wooden tables and comfortable stools, spaced within back-slapping, high-fiving distance. The more family-friendly lounge with its tufted sofas and plush armchairs is great for a casual night out. (The Vista even has its own supervised playground for the kiddies.) Wherever you choose to sit, a TV screen is within line of sight, and a great selection of drinks awaits, including Tiger, Heineken and Magners Cider on draft to accompany 17 bottled beers as well as shooters, cocktails, spirits and shisha.



The newly expanded menu covers all the Asian and Western favorites with finger foods like the homemade seafood cha gio, surprisingly hearty and stuffed with prawn, squid and crab meat (VND110,000) and the Sriracha Hot Wings (VND140,000), an absolute standout, lightly crispy with a spicy house Sriracha sauce that begs to be washed down with a refreshing Irish cider.


They’re so good you’ll find yourself guarding them closer than Manuel Neuer and tempted to order a couple more plates to make a proper meal out of them. Generously- portioned mains supply energy for late night celebrating. The signature Fan Club Inside Out Burger (VND170,000) sports bacon and cheese inside the patty, sealing in the juices, topped with honey caramelized onions on a toasted English muffin (baked in-house) with a side of thick cut sweet potato fries.


The huge portion of Traditional Battered Fish and Chips (VND170,000)


and the large selection of pizzas including the Meat Lovers (VND190,000) loaded with chili con carne, chicken, pepperoni, chorizo and bacon strips, were also a hit with our group.

oi-vietnam-january-2015-fan-club-all-mains-nf-- (1)

If The Fan Club had a creed, it might be a take on the Olympics’ after whose rings its logo is modeled: ‘The important thing in life is not the triumph, but the fight; the essential thing is not to have won, but to have fought (and ate and drank) well.’ For the latest promotions, check out The Fan Club at 

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