Travel

There’s a Secret Bar in San Juan, La Union, and It’s Hiding in Plain Sight

It’s right upstairs from one of the newest boutique hotels in the surf town.
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If you take public transportation to San Juan, La Union, the bus stop is right in front of 7-Eleven. If you get there at night, look up at one of the taller buildings on the right side of the road, and you’ll see a curious looking green neon sign of a bearded gentleman wearing shades. That’s the only clue you’ll get about one of the newest bars in the popular surf town up north. 

There are no other signs advertising Hyde’s, the bar at the rooftop of a fairly new boutique hotel in San Juan. But go up a few flights of stairs and you’ll find Funky Quarters, a fresh and impossibly hip addition to the constantly growing list of lodging places in the city.

Photo by COURTESY OF FUNKY QUARTERS.
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Photo by COURTESY OF FUNKY QUARTERS.

Owners Jeff Ortega and brothers John and Jek Uy are targeting a more upscale and sophisticated clientele for their newest venture. The 12-bed Funky Quarters combines steam punk design influences with sublime and premium embellishments: hotel-standard pillows, duvet, and memory foam bed in each bunk, as well as individual built-in desks, lamps, and sockets within arm’s reach. Toilets and shower rooms also feature Aesop bath products, rainfall showerheads, and Japanese-style bidet toilets.

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But if you have even more luxrious tastes, check out Hyde’s Room, a furnished private room with extra special amenities, including its own toilet and shower.

Everyone goes to San Juan to catch some waves or hang out by the beach, but if you want to just lay back and chill, Funky Quarters has got you covered. There are common areas like the Glassroom and Lounge where guests can do just that. And of course, Hyde, the bearded gentleman himself, is right upstairs.

Photo by COURTESY OF FUNKY QUARTERS.
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Photo by COURTESY OF FUNKY QUARTERS.
Photo by COURTESY OF FUNKY QUARTERS.
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Photo by PAUL JOHN CANA.

The rooftop bar offers expansive views of the surf town (get there by sunset to really get a feel of the place). Bar chow is limited, but what’s available isn't bad. Try the Nacho Norte (crisp tortilla chips with melted cheese dip, honey, pico de gallo, and spicy longganisa), Hyde’s Chicken Wings (served with buffalo, sesame soy and buttered sriracha dips), Deep Sea Calamari (hand-battered and sprinkled with spices and chopped cilantro).

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But you’re there mostly for the drinks and Hyde’s doesn’t disappoint. They brought in mixologist Kalel Demetrio, who you might know from Poblacion’s Agimat Foraging Bar & Kitchen and Alamat Filipino Pub & Deli, to curate the libations. Specialty cocktails are at P400, while regular cocktails are at P300. We recommend the 5-Minute Drink, which we hear is a favorite (or was inspired by) co-owner Ortega.

Photo by COURTESY OF FUNKY QUARTERS.
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Photo by COURTESY OF FUNKY QUARTERS.
Photo by COURTESY OF FUNKY QUARTERS.
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There’s no stopping the rise of San Juan as everybody’s favorite and easily accessible surf spot, and Funky Quarters and Hyde’s will make sure you get the most of that well-earned weekend (or hell, even weekday) getaway.

Follow Funky Quarters’ Socials @funkyquarters and visit their website.

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About The Author
Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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