The Market Pub and the Hat Trick Sports and Grill Bar are to all intents and purposes the same bar (but not – read on) owned and operated by Miguel Rivero and supervised by John Yves Ronaldo Gargalicano.
Last night I dropped in unannounced primarily to check out the the Market Pub now that Miguel has put the finishing touches to the interior. It was always his intention to re-create an English-style pub and he has done a very good job of it.
Of course it is football themed as Miguel, John and I are football fans and respectively fans of Manchester United, Real Madrid and Liverpool. The pub and the outside area which is effectively the Hat Trick Sports and Grill Bar has a number of big screens that show English Premier League, Spanish League and Champions League football.
You will note in the image below that Miguel keeps his distance from a Liverpool FC mug that I am holding 🙂
Miguel is an Anglophile having spent much time working in England and earning football coaching badges there. His football themes for the pub include mock street signs bearing the names of many of England’s famous football stadiums and even the comfort rooms (CR’s) have signs differentiating between Players (men) and WAGS (wives and girlfriends).
It’s not only the football that pulls me towards Miguel’s establishment. You are certain of a warm welcome no matter who you are then of course there is the beer plus the food.
I tried the only beer on tap – a local beer called Dumaguete Double. It is a dark porter-style beer and quite heavy with a distinct licorice taste. It grew on me and I ended up downing about four 500 ml glasses of the dark stuff! At 6.9% strength that was my lot 🙂
There are also a number of imported bottled beers as well as the usual suspects among the Filipino beers with a full range of San Miguel and the famous Red Horse beer.
My group didn’t eat there as we had arranged to meet at a bar about 50 meters away called the Manhattan Fleet. That was a friend’s call and seeing it was her birthday then we duly obliged. The food in there was good but I prefer the ambiance of the Market Pub and Hat Trick Sports Bar and Grill, each to his own I guess. Sometimes I like to eat in one place and then chill over drinks in another.
Although I didn’t eat there the food looks good and the prices affordable. The food is served from a converted shipping container painted bright red with windows and a serving counter. That reminds me of similar conversions seen all over the world to sell street food.
One person I know who has eaten there is a local blogger, Sigrid Says and here is what she had to say about the food and the establishment:
” … [A]nd that’s exactly what The Market Pub has brought for the Bacolod market to experience. Decked with bricks for its walls, The Market Pub is dimly lit, with most of its tables tall and with matching tall chairs. Bar stools are in place. They have different kinds of Italian wines as well as local and imported bottled beers. They have draft beers, too. After dinner, the lights can be further dimmed, conducive for a fun night of drinking with friends. They also have coffee, in case, you know, you need the kick after all the alcohol you’ve consumed …
The owners, Miguel Rivero and wife, Apple (nee Cammayo), have both stayed in England for several years while they were studying. So they thought that the best concept for a restaurant that they should put up is a pub. They serve popular European dishes like different kinds of paella, salads, calamari, gambas, soups, and sausages. Their menu is pretty simple–just the more popular ones.
But since they also own the Hat Trick Sports Grill just beside the Pub, clients can also order the American favorites served at the sports grill, like burger, chicken wings, nachos, and fries.
Basically, you get a glimpse of the casual leisurely European lifestyle at The Market Pub. There’s nothing fancy here, though. Just bring your fun spirit when you go to their place. Visit them at The Marketplace at Villa Angela, Circumferential Road (beside NGC), Bacolod City. They are open daily, from 11am to about 1am or until anyone still wants to stay.”
Both the Market Pub and the Hat Trick Sports and Grill Bar are all situated in the Market Place next to the Negros Government Center (NGC). It’s a great area for relaxation as it is a purpose built square accommodating many restaurants and bars. It is pedestrianized too so you can sit out al fresco in some of the bars and be free of pollution from passing traffic. For me it is a top attraction here in Bacolod and beats coping with heavy traffic downtown in Lacson Street, the main nightlife hub in Bacolod. Parking is also a breeze at the Market Place in the wide open spaces surrounding the NGC.
Sigrid makes a valid point about bringing “your fun spirit” here. I love to listen to live music and every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening a live band plays at the Hat Trick starting about 8 pm. They are good, very good with a talented female vocalist and musicians such as Carlo.
Carlo and Miguel also indulged my other passion, a fantasy that I can sing 🙂 They invited me to sing two Beatles numbers Get Back and Let It Be. I did, and there was a ripple of applause so it was either appreciated or a round of sympathy!
All in all a great night with wonderful warm, friendly people and a firm reminder to me of all that I love about the Philippines.