What's there to see at The Alley?

Why this hidden haunt in Makati is well worth a visit.


(SPOT.ph) While shopping malls are still popping up left and right in the Metro, there are other hidden gems in the city that deserve a second look. Case in point: The Alley at Karrivin Plaza is a chic lifestyle hub perfect for those who want a calming refuge from the usual city stops. What was once simply called “Building C” and was attached to an unleased warehouse within the BDO-managed property, is now home to seven tenants: The Drawing Room, Writer’s Block, Toyo Eatery, Lanai, Aphro, Bellas Artes Projects Manila, and Hydra.




At the helm of this project is Mara Coson, who says she envisioned a “special and cohesive,” “fresh and green” environment for The Alley. Finding the right mix of people to occupy the space was serendipitous: Mara called Jun Villalon of The Drawing Room when she found out he was looking for a space, while Jordy and May Navarra of Toyo saw it as the perfect place for their next project. “It's been great to see all the tenants grow into the space, and I'm happy and thankful for them, especially as everyone in The Alley has formed a kind of community. We even have a much-loved Alley cat and she's friendly to people who come,” says Mara.





The Alley could easily be that neighborhood hangout you’ll keep coming back to, and the people who work around Pasong Tamo Extension are lucky to have it as an option—whether it’s to have coffee or cocktails at the Writer’s Block, dinner at Toyo, or to get a quick art fix at The Drawing Room. If you’re there on a particularly breezy day, take time to sit on one of their benches or couches by E. Murio, because it’s that type of place that invites you to linger. Mara adds that The Alley is dog-friendly, too.



Mara says to watch for more openings at The Alley by end of the year to early next: “Bellas Artes Projects Manila is a non-profit art space by Jam Acuzar that is connected to the residency program of Bellas Artes Projects in Bataan. It'll be kind of like a Manila outpost, where they'll hold exhibitions, talks, screenings,” she says. Hydra, a group of design studios, is set to open by the end of the year. “They'll also sell coffee and donuts!” Mara adds.



Check out what else there is to look forward to at The Alley:



The Drawing Room, The Alley’s first tenant, now has a bigger space for art shows after moving from Metropolitan Avenue.



Things are nice and cozy over at Writer's Block, the sister café of Local Edition in Legazpi Village. Mara recommends the brownies, and adds that they plan to hold some movie screenings soon. It's one of SPOT.ph's Top 10 Secret Coffee Spots in Manila!





Chef Jordy Navarra’s Toyo Eatery is “Filipino in spirit,” where complex flavors will remind you of home, but not quite. It would be a sin to miss out on their incredibly fresh oysters (P380) and tender Pork BBQ (P380).



Beautifully arranged flowers and all things colorful can be found at Lanai, which also has homeware, apparel, and a café.




While art, furniture, and design are definite must-sees at Aphro (owned by Tina Fernandez), there’s also a huge staircase altar plus a slide by Jagnus Design Studio that’s worth trying out too, if you dare.


The Alley is at Karrivin Plaza, 2316 Chino Roces Avenue Extension, Makati City. For more information, check out The Alley’s Facebook page and Instagram.


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