As a much-deserved in memoriam to the places whose food, people, and atmosphere we’ve come to love, here’s a rundown of restaurants and bars that have closed down for good due to the pandemic.
1. Gourmet Gypsy Art Café (Roces Avenue, Quezon City)
When chef and restaurateur Waya Araos-Wijangco made the announcement on Facebook about the café’s permanent closure, fans of their inclusive and easy environment were devastated.
Luckily, the newer branch along Maginhawa Street in Quezon City stays afloat.
2. Shangri-La’s Finest Chinese Cuisine (Quezon Avenue, Quezon City)
It took 37 steadfast years before the beloved Chinese restaurant along Quezon Avenue had to close its doors for good.
Loyal patrons would remember how Shangri-La made headlines in history by serving former president Corazon Aquino, as well as the late Pope John Paul II when he visited the Philippines for World Youth Day in 1995.
3. The Oasis Paco Park Hotel (Paco, Manila)
The 10-year-old hotel, which also housed one of Manila’s most treasured restaurants, My Kitchen, has closed down this month.
The restaurant’s claim to fame is popularizing the “panizza,” a rolled-up version of the Italian dish as conceived by Swiss chef Chris Locher.
4. Hillcrest Café (Sikatuna Village, Quezon City)
The closing of this quaint café in Diliman certainly broke the hearts of many hardworking students and professionals from the vicinity. The silver lining, however, is that they’re brewing something new in its place.
5. Today x Future (Cubao, Quezon City)
From a cozy café to a stimulating nightlife spot, even Today x Future wasn’t spared from the pandemic’s peril. Without a doubt, everyone who has ever stepped foot into the hole-in-the-wall hangout place will remember it as a safe space and an institution all by itself.
6. Polilya (Poblacion, Makati)
Another bar from another city bites the dust. Polilya’s energetic tropical scene and violet neon lights will no longer shine to the once-populated streets of Poblacion. So long, bottles of Engkanto beer!
7. Moksha (Little Baguio, San Juan)
Just because it’s in a gentler neighborhood doesn’t mean it’s going to be missed any less – as this small but staple bar in San Juan closes shop after 18 years, it takes with it fond memories of celebrations by families and friends, but most importantly, their signature Flying Tiger drink.
8. Sodam Restaurant (Little Baguio, San Juan)
It might as well be a Korean drama – also in San Juan’s Little Baguio, Sodam Restaurant, which rose to prominence for their affordable all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ offers, also ceased operations this month.
9. Thomson Road Chinese Bistro (Molito Lifestyle Center, Alabang)
Even establishments from posh spaces down south have shuttered from the pandemic. The Chinese restaurant much adored by families for their solemn Sunday lunches has also ceased operations.
10. Alamat Filipino Pub & Deli (BF Homes, Parañaque City)
Even customers inside the gated community that is BF Homes felt the brunt of the coronavirus. Without making any announcements online, Alamat Filipino Pub & Deli along Aguirre Avenue inside BF Homes subtly passed, leaving only a banner saying that their space is now up for lease.
BONUS: Forest House Bistro and Café (Loakan Road, Baguio City)
While it isn’t technically in Metro Manila, faithful customers of the rustic restaurant along Loakan Road in the Summer Capital still voiced their disappointment over its sudden closure.
Once dubbed as the “Philippines Best Restaurant” by luxury publication Philippine Tatler, Baguio City’s Forest House has served both our hearts and bellies for the last 19 years, and we were never the same after.
What other places have closed down due to the pandemic?