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March 2003
Destination: Manila

Eastwood Walk, home of several resto-bars Metamorphosis
by Rachel Quinto

Change as they say is inevitable… It's fascinating that this philosophical ideal is also applicable to the business side of the world. Many establishments made it by going with the flow but unfortunately, those who were not able to meet the demands of this rapidly changing world were like sinking ships who went down along with the old trend. That is why one of the new trends of the Pinoy's bustling nightlife is the RESTO-BAR. A restaurant and a bar rolled up into one.

A few years ago, resto-bars are not that common but now, they are like mushrooms sprouting everywhere. Why this phenomenon? What is SURVIVAL? Yep. It's survival of the fittest. The branch manager of Mystique Grill Bar & Restaurant in Eastwood puts it this way, "ang restaurant kasi madami nang competition niyan kaya medyo mahina kaya we have to adapt na din to the environment." Well, he's absolutely right! Mystic GrillThere are many kinds of restaurants. You have Italian, grill, Japanese and the list goes on and on. What happens then when you can't keep up with competition? You go down. But resto-bars take on a different attitude, a different way of surviving. Being a restaurant, they cater usual lunches and dinners to families, working people, yuppies and basically everybody who eats out. But resto-bars found a new set of people to cater to… the nightlife crowd. For one thing, ordinary restos close at around after dinner time say they close at around 10 in the evening. Well, Pinoy nightlife starts to get alive at around 10 so ordinary restos wouldn't cater to this crowd. A resto-bar on the other hand, opens at around noon or some even at early dinner time and would not close until the wee hours of the morning. So it's as if they hit two birds in one stone: the ordinary resto eating people and the nightlife crowd.

Aside from their sign that says that they are a resto-bar, how else could we identify an establishment as a resto-bar? Well, for one thing, they have a drinks bar and that's exactly why they're called a resto-bar. They also have a complete menu ranging from appetizers to main course then to desserts. A resto-bar provides delicious and complete food to its customers while giving them that bar & disco like background music through usually live bands or system surround music. People most especially yuppies and adults patronize resto-bar and it has become a common meeting place because of the environment it possess. Like a resto, you have your own cozy place to chit-chat during a late dinner with your companions while enjoying yourself through its music. It's a place to unwind and relax while eating sumptuous food or drinking all night long or even dancing & grooving to the music. But resto-bars don't have a big dance floor instead people dance in front of the stage, if there's a ny, or in front of the live band or even at their own seats. With all these options/choices that it can give, indeed, resto-bars are THE ultimate place to meet, eat, drink, dance and unwind. It's everything you want to do, all in one. But since competition is also aggressive, resto-bars must create a way that will make them unique and thus the existence of diverse resto-bars.

Local Hollywood
Hardrock Cafè (Glorietta, Makati)
BargoLocated at the heart of Makati, Hardrock Cafè is known as THE place to be when it comes to live performances of known bands and performers both local and foreign. It's best known for its Hollywood aura since it is a branch here in the Philippines with branches known worldwide . When there is no performer or band for the evening, there is no cover charge and entrance fee but when there is a show, an entrance fee is charged when you enter at 9 pm onwards since show starts at around 9:30. At this time, you're there not for the food anymore but for the performer.

Latino Fever
Cafè Havana
(Greenbelt 3, Makati)
What's eye-catching with this place is the presence of many foreigners particularly North Americans and Latinos. When asked why they chose this place to spend the night, an American answered, "well, Cafè Havana is popular!" Indeed, it is famous among the foreigners perhaps because of first and foremost, it's name. Havana is a historic place in Cuba which is of importance to Americans and Latins. So with their name, it can attract foreigners. Also, it has a unique Latino atmosphere because of the Latin music played by not the usual rhythms instruments but with Bongos and other distinct musical instruments.

Montego Jamaican Frenzy
(Eastwood City, Libis)
As it is with Café Havana, Montego is also a unique concept bringing alive a foreign atmosphere. If Havana is Cuban, Montego is Jamaican. Locals, Jamaicans and other foreigners go to Montego for a night of Reggae and of Bob Marley but other types of music can be requested also. But aside from its different music, mostly yuppies and adults come there to taste their specialty, spicy Jamaican food.

Bargo Sporty Gimik
(Eastwwood City, Libis)
And yet another unique gimick of a resto-bar, a sports bar. They offer you another choice of activity, billiards. Teens, yuppies and adults flock to Bargo for a night of eating, drinking, dancing and billiards. Their billiard tables are at the 2nd floor while you can dance the night away at guess where… at the whole 3rd floor. Talk about maximizing your night.

Nappa Bistro & Bar The Deviation
Nappa Bistro & Bar
(Eastwood City, Libis)
A bistro-bar is an alteration of the resto-bar. Here, it is a more formal and elegant setting and ambiance which in turn will make you spend more. But a bistro provides a soulful evening of relaxation because of its soothing music in the form of piano accompaniments and classical music. Adults and yuppies are the ones it caters to.

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at a glance >>

wasabi Where have all the party people gone on Friday and Saturday nights? Find out what hip places Filipinos love to hop.

resto bar One of the new trends of the Pinoy's bustling nightlife is the RESTO-BAR: a restaurant and a bar rolled up into one.

laughter Up for a night of laughs? Check out all the halls of fun where happy and gay people jive.

drinks Some would say we should be proud of our Filipino beer because it has a different unique taste. Yes, it does have a distinguishing taste from other beers.

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