By Nguyễn Diệp & Hồng Linh
Saurus Coffee and Gallery is an ideal destination for people with a love for dinosaurs in HCM City.
Phạm Công Lý developed an interest in dinosaurs after watching the Jurassic Park movie in 1993 when he was a child. Through time, his passion raised in his mind the idea of a place for locals to enjoy those "extinct creatures".
That is how Saurus Coffee and Gallery was born.
Located at 258r Dương Quảng Hàm Street, Ward 5, Gò Vấp District, HCM City, and open every day of the week from 7am to 10pm, Saurus is a complex building of galleries, restaurants, and cafes divided among three floors.
There are over 100 models of dinosaurs, including everything from handmade statues to extremely rare, discontinued models.
At the entrance, the first thing that blows visitors' minds is the giant, magnificent, six-metre tall Brachiosaurus, a genus of sauropod dinosaur that lived in North America during the Late Jurassic period, a statue that can be seen from any floor of the building. The total cost to create this statue was VNĐ5 billion (over US$200,000).
|A giant six-metre-tall Brachiosaurus model at the Saurus Coffee and Gallery entrance. – Photo courtesy of Saurus Coffee and Gallery|
Inside, customers can find a warm café space, a place not only for enjoying drinks but also cakes with dinosaur decoration. The highlight of the cafe area is a majestic plastic statue of a T-rex dinosaur.
When visitors arrive on the second floor, the first thing that appears in front of them is a magnificent dinosaur gallery designed to look like Vietnamese terraced rice fields, and this is where the most special dinosaur statues of the whole building are located.
According to Lý, the owner of Saurus Coffee and Gallery, the plastic statues come from all over the world and are all limited editions, produced only in very small quantities.
An example of this is the "Baby Blue" dinosaur model version of the Jurassic Park movie. It is one of the few statues left in the world due to it being a limited edition and being no longer in production.
|Two rare 'Baby Blue' dinosaur models from the 1993 'Jurassic Park' film, which have been discontinued, took Phạm Công Lý a long time to acquire. Photo courtesy of Saurus Coffee and Gallery|
Most of the models here are made of resin and regularly cleaned with brushes. This helps the model not suffer from temperature changes, which can cause plastics to shrink, he added.
Moving up to the last floor of this fantastic building, the smell of the sweet scent of steak and other delicious foods fill the room. This section presents a large transparent glass cabinet containing dozens of different types of dinosaur designs, from little toy figures to massively detailed statues.
Saurus is crowded most of the time, especially on weekends. From the young to the old, from those looking for a new place to spend a boring weekend to those who are truly passionate about the ancient creatures and want to find a community to share their love, there is something for everyone.
Therefore, the customers are most often families with children.
Thùy Dương, a visitor from Thủ Đức City, said, “When I first heard about it [Saurus Coffee and Gallery], I thought it would be a great place for my daughter to spend time on the weekend. I was right, she loved it. It is good to know that there is a place where the child can see real models of dinosaurs that they can only see on television.”
According to Lý, the future target is to develop Saurus to become an amusement area with integrated dining. He is also working to build a model production area for all ages to connect and develop the Vietnamese model-making community.
“In the journey of learning about model collection, I have met many big brands from all over the world. It made me wonder why in Việt Nam there isn't anything like that. My future target is to develop a modelling production business that can reach the global market,” Lý told Việt Nam News.
|The owner of Saurus Coffee and Gallery Phạm Công Lý explains information about dinosaur models to guests. – Photo tuoitrenews.vn|
Châu Nhật Tân from Phan Thiết, who joined a model-making community in HCM City, told Việt Nam News: "After joining this community, I have made friends with many people who are passionate about model making. I feel the love and fascination with dinosaurs from everyone here, especially from Lý. This is also a great opportunity to help people get closer to the dinosaur age through dinosaur models from around the world.”
The price for food and drinks is around VNĐ50,000 to VNĐ300,000, and there is no entrance fee. VNS