NoKal Welcomes Lokals at a Bigger and Better Spot 

The year 2020 definitely put a halt to Manila nightlife as we know it. Go-to food spots, favorite hangout spaces, and party places were shut down due to the threat of the pandemic. A little bit over two years later, the Manila nightlife is back and partying harder than ever.

While new restaurants and bars are opening their doors to party-goers, some of our best-loved spots are also welcoming us back with their signature drinks and comfort menus. 

If you missed seeing their iconic neon pink sign across Kalayaan, we’ve got great news for you. NoKal is ready to welcome back Lokals at a new hot spot. 

Managing Director and Co-founder, Marco Viray, shared with us the journey of closing NoKal’s doors to finding a new place to host all Lokals. Six months into the pandemic, NoKal decided to close their doors as their landlord demanded they still pay full rent. It was a tough call to make but the team decided it was about time to surrender to the constraints of the pandemic. 

“We came from the peak of the business to the bottom right away. The anxiety was real and it was hard for everyone.”

Marco viray

As he frequented the bar, Viray missed everything from the NoKal burger to the music to the international acts to the crowd. When asked about a significant night he always looked back to during their shut down, Viray answered “I really enjoyed Chromeo night. That was really fun, and hosting them around was good too.” It was an early Christmas present for the Lokals of NoKal and it was one of the last big events they did prior to closing. 

Viray also shared that they didn’t plan on reopening NoKal until Carlos Rufino came into the picture. Rufino was a huge fan of Poblacion and envisioned bringing it to Makati Cinema Square. Rufino gave the NoKal team a tour of the mall but it wasn’t until they were saying their goodbyes at the parking lot when Viray noticed an interesting location for NoKal. It was a unit in the basement being used as a storage room. A couple of days later Rufino showed them the room. Viray said it reminded him of a place called “The Electric Room” in New York. He realized it was a hidden gem and explored the idea of reopening NoKal right after. 

Once the NoKal team started floating around the idea of reopening, they were met with overwhelming support from business partners and close friends. “Now, NoKal feels more like a community effort, we have so many new partners, who invested in us through either big or small capacities, and that made us decide to really pursue the reopening,” Viray said. It was through everyone’s financial support that NoKal was able to welcome Lokals back into its doors. 

“The past few nights have been great! We’ve been getting more and more inquiries for reservations. We’ve also been getting much busier as time goes,” Viray excitedly shared about their opening. Lee Watson, who’s in charge of the Bar Program, invites everyone to try their wide selection of Tequila and Champagne. Aside from the NoKal burger, Chef Raul Fores is excited for everyone to try their best-selling Steak Rice. More dishes and drinks will also be added to the menu soon! 

The NoKal team invites everyone to visit their bar at Basement 1 of Makati Cinema Square.

“Expect the same old vibe you got with us in Poblacion but in a bigger and nicer place.”

For venue rentals, table reservations, and guest list bookings, kindly contact :
You may keep tabs on their upcoming events at their Facebook and Instagram pages:

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