Did you know that decades before the world, including the Filipino youth, got hooked on Netflix’s mystery series Riverdale, there was a restaurant in Manila you could hang out in that looked like the heart of Riverdale, Pop’s Chocklit Shoppe?
Rosie’s Diner (1989), Photo Courtesy: Jim Reese
Rosie’s Diner once stood at M.H. del Pilar Street in Malate the during 80s and 90s. Before Ermita was proliferated by nightclubs and KTV bars, there were wholesome restaurants like Rosie’s diner where students and families could eat their hearts out and share splendid memories together.
Rosie’s Diner was a home of American diner food from the 50s. Like Pop’s Chocklit Shoppe, Rosie’s diner also had classic milkshakes that best complemented good conversations. They also served their signature Midget Burgers (6 mini-burgers on a plate with flags pierced on top of them) and fresh taco salads nestled in edible taco shell bowls. It was also one of the few places where you could get Cherry-flavored Coke. Other yummy dishes on their menu included their roast-beef sandwich, apple pie ala mode, chicken pie, banana split, and Hawaiian pizza.
Aside from the food, Pop’s and Rosie’s interestingly shared the same aesthetics: neon lights, LED signages, and stripes that patterned the windows of Rosies’s and the outdoor walls of Pop’s.
Photo of Pop’s Chock’ Lit Shoppe was taken from biffbampop.com
Beyond that, it’s nice to think that this place held tons of memories that the Filipino youth enjoyed in the past, just like Archie, Ronnie, B, and Jug who even fought to protect Pop’s from closing and stopped Hiram Lodge from owning it.
As time passed, Rosie’s old spot has been occupied by nightclubs, restaurants, and other pawnshops. Meanwhile, Rosie’s Diner moved to Pampanga in the early 90s and was later renamed L.A. Cafe.
I wonder how lively this place was in the past. Just by looking at the picture, I can imagine it being full of laughter and stories. Who knows? Rosie’s diner might have been a significant part of your parents’ childhood. Either way, I’m happy that it once made its mark in Manila.