WEEKEND writer Fiona Patricia S. Escandor shares a drink with one of Cebu’s newest bar owners.
Weekends in this city just got better, as a new hangout destination along Escario St. is ready to offer a fresh take on the Cebuano leisure experience.
Aptly called “Labeled,” it is a liquor store-slash-bar that houses an impressive selection of over a hundred alcoholic beverages, both local and imported. Still on its opening run, this spot has already been generating a buzz all over the metro, simply because it is an ideal place to head to for a cold glass of one’s favorite drink. Just name the ‘label’ and for sure, Labeled has it.
Labeled is owned and managed by a group of friends who want to redefined the city’s nightlife landscape, and spearheading the venture is the young and dynamic entrepreneur Michael Ng.
“My barkada and I go out a lot, and we’ve noticed that most places in Cebu are usually expensive,” Michael pointed out. “So sometimes we buy the drinks from the grocery, bring it to our house, invite friends over and have a party.”
“So we thought,” he continued, “why not make a place where you can do that and it’s a bar? Here in Labeled, we have drinks at grocery prices, then complemented with good music and a good crowd.”
The two-storey establishment situated at the Green Orkid Commercial Center has a seating capacity of 50. The bar occupies the entire second floor and the shop is on the first, where one can see shelves of bottled liquor, ranging from the popular ones to those that are hard-to-find, and even special editions of certain brands.
“We’re collecting different kinds and every month, we want to bring in something new, something that Cebuanos haven’t tried,” Michael said.
“I think I’ve tried all the drinks here,” he then mused, pointing at the bottles of tequila, gin, rum, whiskey and many others lined up. “But personally,” he added, “I’m a scotch drinker.”
Michael, otherwise known as ‘Mike,’ finished with a degree in physical therapy from Velez College, but found his niche in the field of business. He has been helping out with his family’s importing business since he graduated, as well as dabbling in ventures of his own.
“I actually regret starting at a later age. I should have started (doing business) when I was still in school,” he shyly admitted. Nevertheless, the business-driven 31-year-old surely has a lot of things going on with Labeled now added to his list.
Described by friends as hardworking, good-natured and someone who “does not step on other people” to get his way—Michael is undoubtedly one of the homegrown personalities
to look out for in the business scene, as he ushers in innovative ideas to Cebu.
He said another reason why Labeled has been named as such is that customers can actually “label” their bottles there. “We recommend people here to buy a bottle and label it, and come back again and again. Even if you come here alone, you don’t have to finish the bottle you bought,” he explained. “There are already about 60 bottles here labeled by customers.”
On the food side of Labeled’s menu, one can find bar chow favorites such as sisig, chicharon bulaklak, calamares and beef tips. “We’re going to expand our menu by the grand opening at the end of the month. We’re going to add steak, sandwiches, and some desserts,” Michael revealed.
Michael also mentioned that Labeled’s grand opening parties will be on September 28 and 29. He added that by then, it will be a “one-stop place” with good music, good food and, of course, even better drinks. Label your calendars, then.