One Last Bite: Bar Dolci Closes Its Retail Doors, Makes Way for Gruppo Dolci

March 21, 2017
It is with a heavy heart and full stomach that we say goodbye to some of our favorite restaurants in the One Last Bite column, a reflection of the challenging restaurant landscape that has developed in Manila.

At the end of last month, the always sweet Bar Dolci broke our hearts by closing the doors to their shop for good. Yet another locally grown concept to (figuratively) knock a wooden beam across their retail doors, Bar Dolci’s silky smooth gelato, moist macarons, and chewy jellies will sorely be missed. So when we heard that they were closing up shop, we had to visit the dessert destination for one last bite.

Bar Dolci’s gelato is made with all-natural, fresh ingredients.

Bar Dolci advocates transparency and honest food in their brand, and produces desserts using fresh, all-natural ingredients. We spoke to David Go, founder of Bar Dolci, who first came up with the Bar Dolci concept when he was 15 years old and opened its doors in Burgos Circle at age 17. The store was open for 7 years leading up to it’s final day last February 28. Go admits that renting in malls and mall strips is difficult for vendors as they significantly increase the rent yearly to encourage higher turnover of stores and the introduction of new concepts.

Another pillar of their brand is sustainability, as Bar Dolci strongly believes in supporting local producers and their fellow restaurant entrepreneurs. Not only does supporting local strengthen and build local business, but also reduces impact on the environment.

We had one last bite at Bar Dolci—or make that three—with this stack of macarons.

From Bar Dolci’s beginnings as a fund-raising project in Go’s high school growing into a popular retail outlet, Gruppo Dolci was born. Gruppo Dolci supply local gelaterias and restaurants with the machinery to make their own gelato, and provide the training to create high-quality gelato. They also have a commissary where they create their desserts, breads, and other products wholesale. While their retail store is gone, they accept wholesale orders of a minimum of 2.5 liters of your favorite gelato flavor—sounds like a reasonable amount to order for the family, right? The catch is that it has to be consumed within a week since they use fresh dairy and eggs, and do not contain preservatives. (Do let us know if you’re up to the challenge.)

Bar Dolci’s walls were once covered with names of their most frequent customers, followed by numbers that indicated how many cones or cups of gelato they’ve consumed from Bar Dolci.

Go is currently working on a culinary school in their Magallanes site (having been putting up workshops for the past couple of years with their partners Cattabriga from Italy). When the school opens, they intend to create a retail for their commissary where we can finally have access to our favorite Bar Dolci treats. In the meantime, all we can do is feign patience and try to justify a wholesale gelato buy.


Gruppo Dolci offers ingredients, wholesale pastries, gelato, & breads, commissary services, packaging, and training & workshops. / (02) 851-8405 
ADDRESSPhase 1, Block 3, Lot 2 and 3, Santiago St. Paseo de Magallanes Commercial Center, Makati
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Bea Osmeña SEE AUTHOR Bea Osmeña

Bea Osmeña is a healthy-ish eater who is just as likely to take you to a vegan joint as she is to consume a whole cheese pie to herself. A former picky eater, Bea has discovered the joys of savory fruit dishes, but still refuses to accept pineapples on her pizza. On the rare occasion you catch her without food in her mouth, you are likely to find her looking at books she can't afford, hugging trees, or talking to strange animals on the street.

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