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EATS Smokers converse in the glass house within the hidden bar.

INSIDE THE STORAGE ROOM

Bank Bar transports its diners into a secret world of nighttime fare and flowing liquor TEXT DENISE FERNANDEZ PHOTOGRAPHY PATRICK SEGOVIA

There is an unquestionable strangeness in the scenario of well-dressed ladies and suited businessmen lining up outside a 7-Eleven. Unsuspecting bystanders would probably wonder where they are for a fleeting moment or two, but little do they know that inside the convenience store lies Bonifacio Global City’s best-kept secret. Bank Bar was a space that founding partner Abba Napa simply wanted for herself. The outcome? A secluded, hidden bar straight out of a fiction novel tinged with magic realism. Set inside the storage room of RCBC Corporate Center’s 7-Eleven branch, the actual act of discovering Bank Bar’s location gives first-time diners more than the experience that they’ve bargained for: high ceilings, chandeliers, graffitied walls, and a vast bar framed by a wide selection of alcohol. Napa rattles off each guest’s choice of poison: “From akvavit to absinthe, sake to single malts, grappas to

gin and an extensive choice for vermouths, tonics, sodas and such— there’s even homemade limoncello and eau de vie, like in our Italian joint and our French bistro, just in case you may come to crave for it.” While the lounge also serves a midnight menu for bigger nighttime cravings, offered all evening long are light foods conceptualized by The Moment Group’s corporate executive chef Robert Bolanos. Bank Bar’s best-selling small plates include its Truffled Skinny Fries, Pork Barrel Chicharon (a house favorite, according to Maita Quesada, Moment Group’s head of public relations), and Lamb and Picklings Shawarma. Whether they’re visiting to close a deal with clients or simply enjoying a luxurious evening with good company, it’s hard to decide where exactly those well-dressed guests begin to lose themselves: in the alcohol or in the enigmatic pull of the place itself.

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Southern Living: 2015 November  
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