The recent implementation of the Smoking Ban might have caused a lot of Filipinos to breathe a secondhand smoke-free sigh of relief, but it brought a lot of distress to the smokers out there, especially those who like to go out for drinks with their friends. Alcohol is best consumed with a cigarette in hand, and where are the yosi-happy folk supposed to go now that they’re practically persona non grata?
We know your dilemma, and though our mantra when it comes to smoking is “baga mo ‘yan, pare,” we thought a list of cigarette-friendly watering holes would be very useful given the times. Read on!
1) Central BBQ Boy Grill
Arellano Ave. cor. Consuelo St., Malate, Manila
Central is one of those fail-safe places to get affordable alcohol in a chill atmosphere. You can’t smoke at your table, but the Malate branch has a designated smoking area inside its premises. We’ll take what we can get, especially when we’ve had a few rounds of their cocktails beforehand.
2) Z Hostel Roofdeck
5660 Don Pedro St., Población, Makati City
If you’re in the mood to meet people, Z Hostel’s roofdeck bar is the place to go. Their RFID system makes ordering stuff super easy, and the crowd is usually cool. Don’t hesitate to lend your lighter with that blonde chick or scruffy backpacker nearby—you might just make a new friend (or a whole group of them!).
3) Reserve Liquor Lounge
City Golf Plaza, Dona Julia Vargas Ave., Ugong, Pasig City
Tasty food, a laid-back ambiance, classy interiors, safe surroundings, great drinks—what’s not to love about Reserve? If you’re with a big group, get their VIP room, where you can light up to your heart’s content.
4) The Bar
G/F Makati Tower, The Peninsula Manila, Makati City
High rollers looking for a more upscale atmosphere will appreciate The Bar, the Peninsula Manila’s designated smoking area. Its leather chairs, checkered floors, and dim lighting will easily have you thinking you’re in a dive somewhere in South America. You’re more than welcome to smoke while sampling their whisky selection—better yet, switch your pack of lights for a Cuban cigar, just for the night.
110 Jupiter St., Bel-Air, Makati City
Strumm’s is an oldie but goodie in the heart of Makati. Don’t be put off by its seemingly tito vibes: You’ll be going here for the drinks, staying for the food, and returning for the live music. And if you smoke, rejoice! They have a designated area just for you.
6) Straight Up
15th Floor, Seda Hotel 30th St. cor. 11th Ave., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Looking for a change in the BGC bar scene? Straight Up, Seda’s rooftop bar, offers a lovely view of the BGC/Makati skyline that’s best enjoyed in the company of a lovely damsel. It’s a hotel bar so prices are a bit steep, but the service is great, the food is delicious, and the drinks are wonderful. You can also smoke in almost any area of the place!
7) Fred’s Revolucion
Cubao Expo, Gen. Romulo Ave., Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City
Fred’s is always packed, probably due to its artsy, ultra-chill ambiance, good food, and the interesting patrons it sees on the regular. And since it’s an open-air establishment, the smoke from your cigarette is filtered out quickly here. It’s one of those places where you wouldn’t mind camping out at the bar on your own—their alcohol selection is excellent, and you’ll be able to find a drink that’s perfect for you.
8) The 6th Pool Bar & Lounge
Novotel Manila, Gen. Aguinaldo Ave., Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City
When you’re done with the gritty Cubao X scene, head over to the nearby Novotel and ride the elevator to the 6th floor, where The 6th Pool Bar & Lounge is located. Walk around to enjoy an uninterrupted view of the city below, and when you’re done, make yourself comfortable in one of their poolside seats and light up.