Wednesday, December 15, 2010

queen + old school malate sub cult

[Another queen resto of the Malate gimik subculture just bit the dust a few days ago. This is sad. I used to drink/eat in this place during the 90s to early 2k]

Fire engulfs Cafe Adriatico in Malate

Posted at 12/14/2010 12:36 PM | Updated as of 12/15/2010 10:36 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Loyal customers of premier Malate landmark Cafe Adriatico on Remedios Circle can't believe that their favorite restaurant, which has been there since 1979, has been destroyed by fire.

A fire started on the cafe's second floor at past 10 p.m. Monday night, quickly engulfing the restaurant which is built of light combustible materials, mostly wood.

"May malakas na pagsabog po. Eh wala po kaming idea kung ano ang nangyari. Akala lang namin, may pumutok sa labas. So normal lang kami. Eh biglang may usok na, so nag-panic ang dalawang guest namin. And then napasabay na rin kami sa takbuhan," said senior bartender Rico Salinas.

Wency Javier, one of the staff of Cafe Adriatico, said a light bulb in the high pressure fryer in the kitchen blew out.

Firemen quickly responded, and were able to control the fire at 10:59 p.m. Monday night. Fire out was declared at 11:04 p.m.

According to F/CH. Insp. Emilio Langcay, chief of operations of the Manila Fire Department, they can't confirm the cause of the fire yet as investigation is ongoing. But they believe the fire started at the bar area on the second floor where possibly two overheating air conditioners or a faulty electrical wiring caused the fire.

The first alarm was declared at around 10:39 p.m., while the second to third alarm was sounded out at 10:50 p.m.

No one was reported injured or hurt.

In mourning

Customers, staff and the management of Cafe Adriatico are mourning the loss of the iconic landmark.

"We go out here. We hang out here. It's as if we lost a second home because when you talk about Malate, Cafe Adriatico has always been a legend," said Marcelo Alonzo, one of the cafe's loyal customers."

Staffers anxiously waited outside the cafe while the fire was engulfing the establishment.

Lorna C. Ambas, president of the LJC Group which owns Cafe Adriatico, could not help but cry as she watched the firemen put out the fire. She declined media requests for an interview. Ambas is the daughter of former journalist Larry Cruz, who started Cafe Adriatico.

Lengua estofada at Cafe Adriatico. Credit: LJC Group

Cafe Adriatico is famous for its Old World ambience, good food (Filipino, Spanish, and Continental cuisine), and warm and friendly service. It is known for its Chocolate Eh!, a thick hot chocolate mentioned by Filipino national hero Jose Rizal in his novel Noli Me Tangere. On the cafe's walls are antiques, as well as old paintings, particularly those of diplomat E. Aguilar Cruz, father of Larry Cruz.

The restaurant is part of the LJC Group, a chain of food establishments which includes Abe, Bistro Remedios, Cafe Havana, Fely J, Larry's Cafe and Bar, Lorenzo's Way, and Abe's Farm.

Aside from its Malate restaurant, Cafe Adriatico has branches in SM Mall of Asia, Gateway Mall, and Westgate in Alabang.

Langcay said the estimated amount of damage is more or less P200,000. Langcay advised the public to be careful and vigilant so incidents like this may be avoided. --With report by Jasmin Romero, ABS-CBN News

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