Pob Crawl 2019: 7 New Bars in PoblacionJune 6, 2019
Bars have been rapidly cropping up (and closing down—the fast turnover rate is real) in Poblacion through the years. Late 2018 and early 2019 have ushered in a few new faces into Makati’s primary watering hole. There’s something for everyone: a taphouse for beer aficionados, a Seoul-themed bar for K-Drama/K-Pop fans, and an art gallery hybrid for the creative types, among others.
Here are some of the area’s latest additions to add to your weekend night bar crawl. Nobody goes to Poblacion and stays in one bar, anyway. (And if you do, you’re doing it wrong.)
Almacen is a Mexican-themed bar visually inspired by Bali’s collection of colorful watering holes (think Motel Mexicola). It’s separated into two levels, each with an identity of its own. The bottom floor is neon-lit to get you into the party mood. Well that, and the spacious dance floor, the built-in photo booth, and their traitorous Beer-Killas at the shots bar. Upstairs, the atmosphere—and the drinks—are more serious; but it’s still casual enough to get a few moves in.
Bar food comes in the usual taco or quesadilla-form, but those nachos, made with everyone’s favorite local chips, is what drunk grub dreams are made of.
Ulysse Jouanneaud, the man behind Shangri-La at the Fort’s award-winning bars, teamed up with the guys from Dr. Wine to open this pirate-themed rum bar. (Because pirates love their rum.) The place follows the theme to a T, from the nets slinging from the ceiling to the intricate drinking vessels. They even got a parrot for good measure.
Buccaneers is home to the most number of rum labels in the country, with over 200 bottles in its collection. They even make their own infused mixes! Their creative cocktail menu is designed like a pirate map; and each drink is named after a legend from a Caribbean country.
Just like it’s Cubao counterpart Today x Future, Futurist (or Futur:st) has a relaxed, artsy, retro vibe granted by its old Manila home interiors, gold-framed artwork, and dazzling disco ball. The space is tight, yet there’s always room to dance in front of the DJ’s reflective geometric booth. Upstairs, two Kiko Escora pieces dominate the room, along with a table depicting The Last Supper.
Their cocktail menu is just as quirky as everything else, with specials like My Shirota, Breath of Khaleesi, and Maybe Negroni. We gotta say, they’re all very easy to down; so go ahead and order Bourdain’s Balls (yup, it’s a thing here) to help soak it all in.
A large pink door welcomes you to Limbo—Poblacion’s very own midnight gallery and bar. Here, you surrender to an alternative atmosphere made up of fusion cocktails, artwork from up-and-coming creatives, and peculiar (in the best way) music sets. Keep an eye out on their social media pages to see who’s work is on display and which DJ is mixing up genres for the night. (Who knew synth and traditional Filipino instruments would sound good together?) Sometimes, they even have all vinyl sets.
the Odd seoul
Hidden inside Korean restaurant Gaja, The ODD Seoul transports you to Seoul’s energetic underground party scene. For authenticity’s sake, the owners made it a point to party hard in South Korea to best recreate the experience here.
A huge subway map takes up the wall, while bright neon lights evoke the hip atmosphere of the infamous (thanks, Psy) Gangnam district. Naturally, the bar specializes in Soju-based cocktails, of which their Kimchi Sour is the star. They also have popular Korean street food on the menu as bar chow.
There’s a whole new meaning to “Kita tayo sa panaginip,”at this new vintage bar in Tambai Alley. True to its name, Panaginip (translation: “dream”) aims to make you feel as if you’re not in Poblacion. And with extra cold A/C (they do it on purpose, hence the jackets), mood lighting, and odd details like skulls and Minotaur heads, it’s easy to feel just that.
It’s a whiskey bar at heart, but they make sure to use local spirits too—as seen in their creative cocktail menu. Music is strictly jazz, mo-town, and the like, setting you up for a laid-back night of drinking.
Pedro Tap House
Since the beginning, the Pedro Brewcrafters team knew that they wanted to open a space where people could converse and learn about beer over rounds of fresh brews. And Pedro Tap House is exactly that. The homey space feels just like a friend’s house. Except your friend probably doesn’t have a bar with twelve nozzles spouting craft beer.
They frequently rotate what’s on tap, occasionally featuring brews made in collaboration with other local (and sometimes international) brewers. Watch out for their weekly events, including quiz nights, karaoke, and DJ sets.