[updated in Sep 2019] Living in a fast-paced world can be exhausting. We, at TheFortCity.com, have uncovered places in Fort Bonifacio that you can get a drink or two by yourself, or where you and your friends can have a deep meaningful conversation, beyond the prying eyes or ears of strangers.
Elbert’s Upstairs Bar, Icon Plaza, 26th Street
Opened at the end of 2018, Upstairs Bar is a speakeasy bar that you may stumble into after a bowl of greasy ramen. Read about it here.
The Refuge, Kensington Condo, Burgos Circle
This bar, located at where The Last Resort bar used to be, has a coffee stall in the front that serves crafted coffee during the day. After 7 PM, The Refuge opens and serves cocktails, wine, and whisky. It’s interior is modern contemporary and appears to target young professionals who want to chill in a place hidden in the residential area of BGC.
Cork Wine Bar and Shop, G/F W 5th Building, 5th Avenue cor, 32nd St
This is a bar hidden in plain sight. It is located in the ground floor of an office building on a busy road. However, it has no sign outside, and the glass wall is tinted. When you get in, you are not sure what it is, because it has sofa that carries a sign that says “thank you for not sitting.”
But it is a drinking place, with a lot of French wine. It also serves proper French restaurant food, such as pan seared salmon (P1,400), duck confit (P1,400), beef salpicao (P1,140).
Bar in Pink’s Hot Dogs, Shangri-La at the Fort
Sample Prices: Gin and tonic P350, Sangria P320, a shot of Jack Daniel P240, a bottle of Heineken P150
Pink’s Hot Dogs is a diner-style restaurant. But below a red sign in the eatery that reads “Bar” is a door that leads to a different world: a secluded bar that is sophisticated and is also one of the coziest places to drink. This bar opens at 11 am. If you want even more privacy, then you need to walk past the comfort rooms and push open another door. There, you will find a bar within the bar: a speakeasy bar that opens at 5 pm.
The speakeasy bar of Pink’s looks nothing like the hotdog place outside.
The interior design of the speakeasy bar is relaxing, yet luxurious. You can feel the intimacy inside their small but comfortable bar. According to one of their staff, the hidden bar is a favorite spot for celebrities who visit Pink’s.
The Back Room, Shangri-La at the Fort
To find this bar, look for the Ministry of Crab, the most luxurious crab restaurant in the Philippines. The Back Room is located in the same corner of Shangri-La at the Fort. The bar is tastefully decorated like a gentlemen’s lounge. Read about it here.
Yes Please, Uptown Parade
Sample Prices: San Miguel Pilsen P150, Heineken P150, Whiskey Sour and similar cocktails P320
There are signs of the bar on the exterior walls of the building, but the entrance is obscure, you have to climb a steep staircase on the outside of the building.
Yes Please has a modern yet classy interior.
The main bar area is spacious with a high ceiling. It has several seating areas, so if you are there early, you can choose the type of seats that suit your mood. There is a balcony outside the bar that overlooks the pool area of The Island at The Palace Pool Club, allowing its customers to view the actions in the pool.
Comic relief. Its toilet facilities are a fun place to visit. Each cubicle has a long paragraph written on the wall that will keep you amused for as long as you can hold your discharge.
Bank Bar, RCBC Plaza
Sample Prices: A cocktail starts at P300, a snack like fried green olives costs P195
This is probably the most discreet drinking place on our list. Its entrance is inside a convenience store. Of course, you will probably suspect something when you spot the bouncer.
The establishment is very particular with their dress code. NO SHORTS ALLOWED.
The interior is like a regular hotel bar. The music played is soft enough for people to chat, and the bartenders are very friendly. They offer a wide range of drinks, from cocktails to hard liquor, and European bar snacks.
INSIDER TIP: If you want even more privacy, they have a small room behind the bar that you can book, as long as you spend at least P20,000 in 3 hours.
Ocean’s Telephone Company, Forbestown Road
Sample Prices: A shot of whiskey starts at P240, San Miguel Light P98, imported beer starts at P200
If you’re feeling a little retro and want to call the 80s you, visit this hidden gem located above Frank & Dean. There are a lot of old telephones on display or mounted on the wall where the bar is hidden. If you push the right telephone, you’ll find yourself inside Ocean’s Telephone Company.
Unlikely Drinking Places
Farmacy, Net Lima Building
Sample Prices: Bottled local beer P100, craft and imported beer starts at P220, wine at P320 per glass
A paradise for those who love ice cream and more, Farmacy Ice Cream and Soda Fountain is not just for the young and the young-at-heart. They also serve beer and wine. So the next time your husband/wife tells you that he/she’s going out to get some “medicines” from the pharmacy, make sure the word spelled with ‘ph’ and not an ‘f’.
Farmacy has a wide range of ice cream flavors as well as craft beers
Farmacy is located next to Wild Flour restaurant, which shares the same owner.
The Lounge at Felipe and Sons, Net Quad Building
Sample Prices: Local beer starts at P60, imported beer from P175, tequila and liquor start at P195
Felipe and Sons is a one-stop shop for any gentleman who wants his hair to be groomed and his suits tailored. While waiting, you can chill in their bar (The Lounge at Felipe and Sons) which has any alcohol a man desires. Their lounge is open from 10 AM to 9 PM. You may or may not like your haircut, but you can be sure to get lightheaded, which can be a way to get temporary relief from any weight on your shoulders.
Felipe and Sons: a one-stop shop for any gentleman.
Perry’s Tea Bar, La Grand Avenue, McKinley West
In this tea bar, you will find a selection of Ros├® wine. The food there is quite good as well.
Now that the secrets of these bars are out, go on and try out these not-so-hidden-anymore drinking places! Do you know a bar that is hidden but not on the list? Share it on the comments below!
Bitters, Forbestown Road
[This article was first published in 2017.]