ONE of the newest nightspots in Davao City is a bar that is themed around Alcatraz, one of the world’s famous prisons.
The main person responsible for this unique theme and concept is no less than Alvin Macias who was only assisted by his sister Irene. Alvin is just one of the few Dabawenyos who’s not afraid and someone who is more than willing to invest in the city’s unpredictable nightlife business. He even risked and pushed through the project even if he’s already aware that nightlife in Davao City ends at exactly 1 a.m.
“We really wanted to come out with a different concept. Not your usual bar,” says Alvin, owner of the Alcatraz Penal Bar.
The 620-square meter commercial bar exudes the real atmosphere of what’s the feeling of being inside a real and large prison jail. It has detention cells which serves as the VIP areas, and it has prison bars and grills all similar and familiar structures that you would observed inside a maximum-security prison.
Alvin said the name came from a friend who once performed in a defunct rock bar in Matina of the same name- Alcatraz. It operated in the 1990s and was once located in the long-gone Jimm’s nightclub compound.
The new Alcatraz Penal Bar is actually the former Starr Superclub. According to Alvin's younger sister Irene they were just shopping for some used sofa from the closed Starr when they learned that the place was up for lease. The former owners of the Starr Superclub offered the place to Alvin and Irene. It was just in December of last year when everything was finalized.
“We were really looking for a right place to put up a bar,” Alvin said.
"We wanted to put up a bar that does not look cheap, that there is a concept in mind," Irene added. Aside from Alcatraz, Irene is also helping her brother manage the other bar they own which is the Acropolis.
The Macias had already resurrected Acropolis, the former disco house which had its heyday in the late 80s until to the late 90s. They had bought the disco in 2013 and converted it into a superclub.
Former discophiles suddenly trooped to the revived Acropolis and the club immediately buzzed its way back to the public. More mature partygoers enamored to the nostalgia of 80s and 90s music.
“But we really want to capture the younger crowd because they can party every night,” Alvin said.
Thus, the idea of putting up Alcatraz was materialized, catering the younger Dabawenyo partygoers. The DJs at Alcatraz are playing all the latest club and dance tracks.
The Macias invested in their audio and lighting set-up. It is the only one in Mindanao using the line array sound system usually used in outdoor music events.
He said one of his goals with Alcatraz is to revive the Wheels and More compound which once hosted bustling bars and clubs. Through Alcatraz, people are now enticed to come back and fill the once lonely and quiet nightspot.
Alvin used to own a car buy and sell business but decided to invest and enter in the city’s nightlife business. He first established the Southern Voice KTV bars which now has seven branches, the farthest branch is in Tagum.
Acropolis and Alcatraz provide an avenue for people who wants to listen to their type of music, dance and party the night away.
He said that all of his businesses are doing very good.
So bullish in the nightlife industry, the Macias’ siblings are planning to put up another bar.
But the Macias siblings are focused on making Alcatraz as a place where one can be sentenced to party and have fun.
Alcatraz Penal Bar is located at the Wheels and More Compound, Obrero, in the site of the former Starr Superclub.