New Restaurant Alert: Uke Box Caffe at Libis, Quezon City
Say aloha to this music-themed cafe that provides coffee, music, and good vibes.
Uke Box Caffe
Unit 12, 187 Village Center, E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue, Libis, Bagumbayan, Quezon City
Open daily from 9 a.m. to 12 a.m.
(SPOT.ph) The southbound strip of Libis is generally a mishmash of banks, gas stations, offices, and a smattering of retail shops—restaurants and cafes are few and far between. Uke Box Caffe, however, is hoping to change that as it introduces not just a place to grab a bite, but an entirely new food + music concept not available anywhere else.
When you’re headed down C5 from the Katipunan area towards Greenmeadows, keep your eyes peeled for its second floor sign. A quick ride away from the many schools in the area, and a short walk across busy Eastwood, the café is situated in 187 Village Center—which for the most part offers parking, but can get tight and full 6 p.m. onwards.
All the little elements contribute to that relaxed effect.
Their musical guests change every now and then.
The café, set up by three friends from Baguio, is an immediate breath of fresh air from the high-traffic, high-stress situation just outside its doors. You walk in and are immediately transported beachside. Bunk-style seating on the right of the cafe provides lazy-day beanbags with mock window views of seascapes, and loft seating offers a cute array of hibiscus-themed decals, which line the top wall. Just across the bunks are your run-of-the mill café tables, set against an adorable mural of ukulele chords adorned by colorful instruments all hung up for display (and use!).
The Instagram shot
Who gets the top bunk?
This is the total chill-out spot.
The idea started from a conversation with part owner and ukulele player Apple Alegro and Cebu-based uke brand HUNI. Apple and her friends wanted to go into the café business, and her uke supplier offered the idea of merging that with another passion of hers. Uke Box Caffe doesn’t just offer free uke workshops on weekends, it also hosts open mic nights Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays for those willing to grab their mics and go.
“It’s a growing community that’s really taken [hold] with the emergence of singers like Jason Mraz and local musicians like Kai Honasan,” says Apple. The fun, piped-in music are actual recordings by in-house artists as well.
Iced Caramel Macchiato
Strawberry Banana and Green Tea
Of course, non-uke aficionados will also enjoy the café for its gustatory treats. Single-origin coffee is sourced from Sagada, Mt. Atok, Mt. Matutum, and Mt. Kitanglad; and are highlighted on display at an adorable coffee hut, complete with a grass skirt. Little and big touches make this a place that’s just begging to be Instagrammed—a turf wall complete with wooden bench and surfboard, mason jars as succulent holders and light fixtures, and a wooden ceiling that mimics the uke construction with its undulating curves. Game boards are a thoughtful addition and reel in groups of people who stay till 1 a.m. on weekends.
Tuna Sandwich (P180)
The food is reasonably priced with servings that do not scrimp (P150 to P260). They’ve got a good selection to choose from—popular hits are the Tuna Marinara Pasta (P250), the Monte Cristo (P250), and iced drinks like the Green Tea Matcha (P155) and Iced Caramel Machiatto (P150). Make sure to save room for dessert when you stop by—we cannot speak more highly of their coffee and cake pairings! The Red Velvet Slice (P150) paired with a cup of smooth Sagada coffee is perfect for sharing, and chocolate lovers will want a full slice of their Ferrero Rocher Cake (P150) matched with Mt. Kitanglad coffee all to themselves.
Uke Box Caffe just opened last May and has already gained a regular following. We have to applaud it for its efforts to think out of the box. Now if only they could bring in the sand and the ocean, too.
Photos by Toto Labrador