We ate at a wonderful restaurant called "Cargo Club" in Hoi An. Housed in a traditional old building, they served delicious Vietnamese and French food, and great pastries. The chairs looked like what Marcel Breuer would build if he only had bamboo.
But the restaurant’s name inspired some other thoughts. For a few years, New York seemed to be really into theme bars and restaurants. Beauty Bar had the aesthetic of a 50’s salon, Lake Bar looked like an old lake house, Barmacy was like a pharmacy, Slaughterhouse Floor Bar was… Well you get the picture.
But what if you took it a step further? My proposed Cargo Club is for a "visit Europe by going to the Italy pavillion at Colonial Williamsburg" crowd. Themed on cargo cults of WWII, the aesthetic would be jungle / mess-hall collision. Palm, longan and banana trees all around, wooden crates and broken televisions transformed into shrines could be used as seating, maybe some big oil drums as tables, and decorative snakeskin lutes on the walls. The VIP room could be a stilted house over a stream stocked with catfish. The menu would be heavy on Spam, manioc and wild boar dishes, with a sprinkling of items like marshmallows and S&W Fruit Cocktail. The amuse bouche could be larvae baked in banana leaves. Dinner would be served on army issue plates, with bamboo cups full of Johnnie Walker and coconut. And the soundtrack would be comprised of the occasional plane buzzing by, tribal music, jungle screetches, and maybe some scratchy swing dance tunes.
It could be the next Trader Vics.