Makati’s nightlife is becoming pretty crowded. People are going to the same bars and clubs that the chances of bumping into someone again is very high. Where does one go for a change of pace?
They go off the grid. Quite literally.
Makati is home to a cluster of speakeasy bars that are hidden from plain sight. To enter, you must know exactly what you’re looking for. In these hidden bars, you are transported into a different world where reality is a fire exit away. But where can you find them? We have the secrets below:
On its Facebook page, ABV promises that you’ll find a “space that’s warm, inviting, and intoxicating.” And that’s exactly what it is. ABV, or Alcohol by Volume, can be accessed by an antique elevator shaft at Lazy Bastard, where you have to tell the maitre d’ the password. Once you successfully enter ABV, you’ll be transported to a speakeasy-style cocktail bar from the ’20s. The bar offers signature cocktails and forgotten classics, as well as a more detailed drinks list from the “Bible,” which you’ll have to ask for.
Location: Inside Lazy Bastard, 22 Jupiter Street, Makati City
2. Exit Bar
Exit Bar is ingeniously hidden behind the exit door of a sandwich shop with books and board games. You have to be hyper-aware, though. There is literally no sign to signal you’re there. You just have to gently push panels to see which one would open. Exit Bar is a small and intimate space, dim lighting, and hushed conversations. They serve an impressive lineup of beers, one that is served in their proper glasses. For cocktails, the De Rigeur is recommended: it’s a drink with bourbon, grapefruit, and honey.
Location: Inside Plaza Cafe, Corinthian Plaza, 121 Paseo De Roxas, Legaspi Village, Makati City
Mandalay is named after a poem of the same name written by Rudyard Kipling, about a Western man in love with a Burmese woman. This fascination with Asia extends to the bar’s decor, which features Chinese lions on pedestals. The menu is also Asian with a Western twist, but the highlight of a visit here is to sample the bar’s extensive whiskey collection.
Location: Inside Bell & Dragon, C.Palanca St., Legazpi Village, Makati City
4. Red Rabbit
To find the Red Rabbit, you must go behind the smoking area at Bugsy’s, and even if you know, you only enter when you’re asked, “Would you like to try the Red Rabbit?” The bar’s menu is curated by Anthony White, who pays close attention to the cocktails they prepare. There are a lot of good ones, but keep in mind that there’s 50 ml of alcohol in each glass.
Location: Inside Bugsy’s, San Agustin Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City
Location: Inside Dillinger 1903, 3rd floor Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center, Makati City
6. Blind Pig
Blind Pig is one of the first speakeasies in Manila, and has a few rules to maintain that vibe. Guests aren’t allowed to talk in loud voices, and must ask permission from the bar if he or she can be introduced to another guest. Flash photography is not allowed. It sounds tough, but if you really want an authentic speakeasy experience, Blind Pig is the place to go.
Location: 227 Salcedo St., Legaspi Village, Makati City
7. The Curator
The Curator is unique in that it offers coffee by day and cocktails at night. And it takes its cocktails very seriously. You can ask for recommendations based on what you feel like drinking in terms of spirit or flavor notes, and they’ll whip up something for you. They also have a research and development division which experiments to come up with even more unique drinks.
Location: 134 Legazpi St. cor C. Palanca St., Makati City
Makati is home to a lot of hidden bars. All you need to do is ask or do some research. Now that we’ve given you this list, explore the city, but don’t tell everyone about it.
Makati is known for its financial institutions, but it’s also known for its bar and club scene. For years, the city has been home to world-class nightlife, with establishments offering unique drinks and experiences. To be where the action is, invest in The Ellis, a condominium in the heart of Makati. Located in the bustling Salcedo district, it is minutes away from the hottest bars in town. For those who want to spend some downtime at home, The Ellis has its own roster of R&R amenities including the Pause & Play Room, Lap and Kiddie Pools, among a few.