Restaurants that say goodbye to us in 2021

MANILA, Philippines – This is the second year of the pandemic, and this year’s not-so-restrictive closures have somehow helped several local businesses and restaurants recover, though not fully, from the dire circumstances of 2020. Things opened, people became more comfortable dining out and the food and beverage industry is now coming back to life, many are hoping and still waiting to prosper.

But the F&B industry continues to struggle, and a handful of beloved names have succumbed to the irreversible effects of the pandemic this year. We had to say goodbye to a few restaurants that will be sorely missed. We pay tribute here to the food establishments that disappeared too soon but that we hope to see again soon.

Chocolate kiss

Chocolate Kiss, the iconic fixture of the University of the Philippines (UP) Bahay ng Alumni, already said goodbye to their physical stores in August 2020, but still remained open for take out and delivery of their cakes, pastries. and signature hot meals. A year later, in June, the beloved restaurant announced that it would be closing its store for good after 23 years. It was a painful goodbye kiss that no one was ready to return.

Chocolate Kiss explained that while “the last year of navigating through blockades has been quite exciting,” it was not sustainable for their business, prompting them to “slow things down”.

It was a decision “strongly guided by a return to their roots,” said owner Ina Flores-Pahati, along with a financial review. The cafe had always relied on a high volume of orders to keep it running, so the difficult decision was prompted by losses already suffered since the lockdown began, as well as the prospect of not being able to operate at full capacity for a while. indeterminate period.

Chocolate Kiss, a family owned business, opened its humble doors on the second floor of the Bahay ng Alumni building of the University of the Philippines inside the UP Diliman campus in 1997. Its menu consisted of comfort food and freshly baked cakes, which makes it a must chika a corner for older people, or a “more chic” dining choice for students looking to spend their extra allowance for the week, either during a barkada meeting place or romantic date on campus.

Kermit MNL

The Manila sibling of Kermit, a popular pizzeria in Siargao, held their last hurray in October before closing.

Kermit MNL, a crowd favorite in Poblacion, Makati City, said goodbye to his customers with a “heavy heart.”

“We missed you during these difficult times. Thank you very much for doing us the honor of serving and supporting you over the past few years. We will all miss you dearly, ”the restaurant known for its authentic brick oven pizza and pasta wrote on social media.

Kermit opened its first and only branch in Metro Manila in April 2018 at Molina Street, Poblacion, Makati City, then its first branch in La Union in February 2021. Kermit’s first branch along General Luna Road, Isle of Siargao was founded by an Italian expatriate. and entrepreneur Gianni Grifoni in 2011.

The little hut has become the favorite spot for locals and tourists alike after surfing, serving what “might be the best pizza and fresh pasta in the country,” Conde Nast Traveler wrote on his website.


In September, one of the Big Apple’s pioneer Filipino restaurants, Jeepney, closed its doors for good at its prime location on First Avenue, East Village, after nine years. Filipino chef Nicole Ponseca was the owner of New York’s famous Filipino restaurant and cocktail bar.

Ponseca said the Jeepney shutdown was just the start of planning bigger things for its pioneering brand. “I want to go from being an independent operator to something more formidable with more support. I don’t want this to be the end of Jeepney, ”she said. She wanted it to become a chain of “quick-fancy” restaurants that can be found in several cities – “a hybrid of something that is quick-laid back and something that is well-laid back.”

Jeepney was known for the award-winning Chori Burger – a brioche bun sandwiching a beef and longganisa patty, spicy banana ketchup, Maggi aioli, atchara pickles, and eggs – and promoting the native. kamayan-style way to eat in New York.

Jeepney is Ponseca’s last physical store in New York City, which she founded in 2012. Ponseca opened a second Jeepney branch in early 2021 and a new brand called Tita Baby’s (a Filipino barbecue restaurant), both in Miami. .

In December 2019, Ponseca closed its other popular Filipino restaurant in East Village Maharlika after nine years.

B. Wings

B. Wings was one of the favorite dishes of students in the Katipunan and Mercato Centrale region, which suddenly, silently and sadly began to shut down in early 2021. The closure of their only branch along Esteban Abada was not confirmed until early 2021, when the former local Wing Seal staff member opened his own cloud kitchen and resumed selling the wings for delivery.

They created chicken wings and fillets similarly adapted to the original flavors of B. Wings – barbecue, garlic cheese, lemonade, spicy, sweet and spicy lemonade and original buffalo.

Casa Daza

Casa Daza, Chef Sandy Daza’s Filipino restaurant at UP Town Center in Quezon City, closed its doors to the public for good in February, saying it was a “tough decision” and thanking customers for their support over the past three years. years.

Casa Daza opened on the second floor of UP Town Center in 2018. Its menu shares a few favorites from Filipino restaurant Wooden Spoon, also owned by Chef Sandy, cookbook author and son of Filipino food icon Nora. Daza.

Casa Daza still sells its freshly baked empanadas, rolls, and siopao in select stores and malls kiosks for take out and delivery.

Elbert’s dinner

Elbert’s Diner, located on the second floor of the Powerplant Shopping Center, closed in January and thanked its customers for all their support “throughout the years.”

“We hope to be back one day. We are proud of our sandwiches and will do our best to find them a home again, ”they wrote.

Elbert’s Diner started as “Elbert’s Cheesesteak Sandwiches” on the ground floor of the Power Plant Mall in 2009. They moved to Alabang in 2014 as “Elbert’s Sandwiches”, then returned to the Power Plant Mall in 2018 as “Elbert’s Sandwich Shop”, renaming shortly thereafter to Elbert’s Diner.

They were known for their cheesesteak subs, sandwiches, cubanos, mashed burgers, sliders, and hot dogs.

Elbert’s Diner was part of the Elbert’s Concepts group, owned by Elbert Cuenca, which is also behind the Elbert’s Pizzeria, Elbert’s Cheesesteak, Elbert’s Steakroom and Metronome brands.

In 2020, many other household names have also folded under pressure from the pandemic, including Shangri-La Finest Chinese Cuisine of Quezon City; the Baguio Forestry House (which has since reopened in a new location); the modern izakaya of Makati 12/10; the Hole in the Wall at Century City Mall; Katipunan ROKU Sushi + Ramen, Bo’s Coffee and RiceTop gems; and LUDO Boardgame Bar & Bistro. –

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