Cellar 22 Is Your Secret Bar in the South
There is a secret bar hidden on the top floor of a certain hotel in the south, with motifs inspired by classic films such as Casablanca (1942) and Once Upon a Time in America (1984). Cellar 22 takes you back to the 1920s–the Prohibition era–when alcoholic beverages were illegal in America.
“I enjoy a lot of classic movies such as Casablanca and Once Upon A Time in America where they feature speakeasy bars during the Prohibition,” says Patrick Chan, Bellevue Manila’s managing director. “I always wanted to have something like that.”
Speakeasy was the term used in the 1920s to refer to establishments that sold alcoholic beverages. The term is derivative of the phrase “speak softly” (or else you will get caught drinking beer). With an inconspicuous entrance at the side of a much larger bar, Cellar 22 welcomes you with a sudden change in atmosphere: movements become slower, lights become dimmer, and music becomes softer. People here also speak softly.
“We wanted a quieter place because the entertainment lounge outside is a bit more upbeat–there’s dance and music, there’s ballroom dancing, there are DJs. For the Cellar, I envisioned it to be a place where people can just relax, talk, and have good drinks while enjoying soft music,” says Chan.
A pool table at Cellar 22
Cellar 22 was designed as a gentleman’s hangout where brothers, friends, and confidants unwind. “We just wanted to create something that was different from the usual,” he says. “Cellar 22 is pretty much a collection of personal memorabilia: sports bar items mixed with storeroom-themed items. I’m particularly proud of its eclectic design.”
Apart from its easy and laid back ambiance, Cellar 22 also serves signature cocktails and local craft beer.
A bartender prepares the bar's signature Remy Ginger cocktail
One of the most requested drink is the Remy Ginger, a simple cocktail made with Remy Martin on the rocks mixed with ginger soda.
“My favorite local craft beer is De Puta Madre from Crows,” shares Chan. “It’s strong–you shouldn’t be driving!”
Cellar 22 is a place where stories happen and friendships strengthen. “I like to meet people here,” says Chan. “I go up to the bar and enjoy talking to strangers and becoming good friends after. You get to know other people’s lives and their stories, everybody has a story to tell and just hearing about it is interesting.”
22nd floor, Bellevue Manila, Alabang, Muntinlupa.