May 1, 2014

Bar 1951

Death is inevitable. No one escapes it. It is part of living, and thus must be embraced gracefully.

But nothing prepared me for the untimely death of Penguin CafĂ© way back in 2009. After reading about it in Chris Martinez play “Last Order sa Penguin,” I tried finding Penguin, only to discover that it has already closed down. It was a popular tambayan then of artists who have strong inclination to Filipino art and live alternative music, and cheap cold beer. It even won the Lonely Planet‘s Editor’s Choice Award for its promotion of bohemian and culture vibes.

Rebirth happens. Maybe not all the time, but it happens.

So perhaps the original Penguin may not be coming back in its original form and appearance but it was reincarnated in 2013 as Bar 1951. The bar may have a new dwelling (at 1951 Adriatico St.) but it retained its old non-conformist soul. It also remain committed in showcasing the Filipino art, holding live gigs, and serving that cheap cold beer. And I couldn’t be happier to finally meet the infamous Penguin.

The ground floor is where the bar counter is located and where the live performance music happen. I really love the hip and quirky mural, particularly that of Jose Rizal and Marilyn Monroe sharing a strand of spaghetti. They make a historical and controversial love team that could swiftly hit and run KathNiel in Primetime Bida.

The second floor is the main dining and smoking area. It also has a loft for those who want a more relaxed ambiance.

The pulutan has some class in it. And even if I’m no drink connoisseur, I enjoyed sipping a glass or two.


Beef tacos

Seafood pizza

Pasta marinara

Mojito watermelon and Irish Bailey’s

Real party starts at 9 pm. I had the chance to see Escolta 3am perform and drink alternately. They may not be the One Direction but they play crazy good.  

Sometimes, beer and music are good escape from the reality we live in.

Bar 1951
#1951 M. Adriatico St.
Malate, Manila
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