The Curator owner David Ong and his fellow music-obsessed friends—Miguel Ledesma, Martin Ledesma, AA Enriquez, Mikey Ang, Mark Gosingtian, and Martin Punzalan—have just opened OTO, a new bar concept in Poblacion with “bites, brews, booze, and beats.”

David Ong

“OTO” means “sound” in Japanese and is also a common expression. (Also, “OTO-to” means “Little Brother.”) “We wanted to open a bar that was focused on music,” says Ong. The bar is a listening room with really kickass speakers, turntables, amplifiers, and vinyl records. Since OTO revolves around music, the space is designed to give guests the ultimate listening experience. There is proper insulation, so there is no echo. The bar is streamlined, with circular tables that can be integrated to form a longer table and comfortable chairs. “There’s a challenge of not being pretentious or even intimidating,” says David. “One might think it is, but you walk in the bar and you’ll change your mind.” Apart from a short cocktail menu that’s still in the works, OTO also serves specialty coffee, same as The Curator. OTO was only serving coffee when it opened earlier this month, but they recently extended their hours and will be including a full bar program soon.

OTO is located at the GF 5880 Enriquez St. Poblacion Makati (across from the new Som’s Restaurant, and around the corner from Z Hostel)
OTO interior

OTO bar is a listening room with really kickass speakers, turntables, amplifiers, and vinyl records

They recently gave us a peek of what OTO has to offer when they hosted several bartenders to showcase some entries from the Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition. There were three shifts, the first of which was manned by David himself and Antidote Singapore’s Edrian Lim serving a Daiquiri (Bacardi Superior, lime, sugar) and Mojito (Bacardi Superior, lime, sugar, mint, soda water). The second shift was taken over by Ken Bandivas of ABV and Prisma, Boracay, serving up his entry to the Bacardi Legacy Contest, Sonreir (Bacardi 8, Punt e Mes, Golden Falernum, pineapple, lime), and Orman Bag-ao of Long Bar whipping up his entry Rain or Shine (Bacardi Superior, carrot, guava, lime, sugar, mint). The last duo to take over the bar were Cedric Mendoza and Gab Carlos of Manhattan Singapore, who were dishing out Regalo (Bacardi 8, lemon, Earl Grey Tea syrup, San Miguel Pale Pilsen, walnut bitters), Cedric’s entry to the Bacardi Legacy Competition in Singapore.

All-star bar shift: ABV and Prisma’s Ken Bandivas, Manhattan Singapore’s Cedric Mendoza, and Antidote Singapore’s Edrian Lim
ABV and Prisma’s Ken Bandivas
Orman Bag-ao of Long Bar
Antidote Singapore’s Edrian Lim
Manhattan Singapore’s Cedric Mendoza
Gab Carlos of Manhattan Singapore
Fun bar shift at OTO
Ken Bandivas’ entry to the Bacardi Legacy Contest, Sonreir (Bacardi 8, Punt e Mes, Golden Falernum, pineapple, lime); Orman Bag-ao Bacardi Legacy entry: Rain or Shine (Bacardi Superior, carrot, guava, lime, sugar, mint)

OTO’s sound system was put to good use by AA Enriquez and The Diegos (Diego Castillo and Diego Mapa), who regaled guests with their sweet grooves.

The Diegos’ Diego Castillo
The Diegos’ Diego Mapa

We’re looking forward to seeing (and tasting) OTO’s cocktails once they’ve fully rolled out. They will also be featuring a full range of genres music-wise, with different theme nights.

Director Sam Lee, Float Swim founder An Estrada, celebrity photographer BJ Pascual, and YS editor at large Raymond Ang
Busy bar during the launch of Oto
Bitters and Mandalay owner Lee Watson and Pernod Ricard’s on-premise executive Joy Sorongon
DrinkManila’s Marketing Director Icy Mariñas, Miguel Rodriquez, and Emel Rowe
Benefit Cosmetics Philippines’ national brow artist Celina Fernandez and DrinkManila’s editor-in-chief Tatum Ancheta
Lifestyle bloggers Mari Jasmine and Bianca King

OTO is located at the GF 5880 Enriquez St. Poblacion Makati (across from the new Som’s Restaurant, and around the corner from Z Hostel).

Hours: Brews – Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Booze -Tuesday to Thursday, 5 p.m. to 1 a.m; Friday and Saturday, 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday, 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Closed Mondays.


Photos by Star Sabroso 

Chrysmas is your go-to gal for all things involving alcohol. She maneuvers her way through the Metro's traffic in her black boots and fishnet stockings, scouring places where one can indulge one's self in libations of all kinds. From Poblacion to Pasay, Malate to Makati, Tagaytay to Taguig. Ask her where to go to get your choice of poison and chances are she's already there holding a good stiff drink in one hand and a pen in the other.

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