Ice, robot, reptile cafes: how long can they last?
VietNamNet Bridge - ROBO Café, the first café in Hanoi where visitors were served by a robot named Mortar, no longer exists. 


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Customers drink coffee and fish swim below



The robotic coffee shop attracted a large number of customers with a robot serving drinks to the tables. The robot was controlled by a touchscreen. It used a battery and moved along a metal line on the floor. But it shut down just after six months of operation.

The place where the cafe was located is now a quiet house with a signboard hanging at the entrance door that says ‘For rent’.

The landlord said the cafe owners left one month ago. He said it appeared that the shop’s business performance was not good.

It had attracted numerous clients thanks to media campaigns and a beautiful robot girl called Mortar. At that time, reporters had to queue up for turns to interview the shop’s owners because there were so many people interested in the café.

Do Trung Thanh, the shop owner, when asked about his strategy to attract customers, said he was focusing on the quality of drinks and services.

The temperature inside Ice Coffee is always at minus 10oC. Visitors to the café these days have to wear coats to keep warm, while Hanoians suffer from the summer heat with the outdoor temperature reaching 40oC.

However, ROBO had to compete with hundreds of other cafes.

Other unique cafes in Hanoi with special characteristics also hope to attract visitors with their originality. 

Ice Coffee in Hanoi is one. The temperature inside the café is always at minus 10oC. Visitors to the café these days have to wear coats to keep warm, while Hanoians suffer from the summer heat with the outdoor temperature reaching 40oC.

In HCM City, there is also a fish pond café where customers drink coffee and fish swim below. 

The two cafes in Hanoi and HCM City have stirred curiosity and lured many visitors who wait one or two hours to be able to experience the original service.

Though the original cafes attracted many customers in the first days of operations, their fate is unclear. 

Ice Coffee has to change ice every 10 days, while the expenses to maintain the ice are up to VND50 million a month. As for the fish pond café, it changes water regularly to take care for fish.

Many Hanoians can remember a very special café which opened some years ago – Pet Café. The café with pythons, snakes and lizards attracted the attention of customers and the press in the first days of operations.

However, later, the café owner had to develop other types of business to earn money. He began receiving foreign travelers and turned the café into a club for reptile lovers. 


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Mai Chi

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