Sunday, August 13, 2006


A few months back, I lamented the downmarketing happening all over the district of Malate. Gone is the neighborhood's gentility as the age of the karaoke jolog now descends upon everything like a noisy fog. It appears that the entire neighborhood unanimously decided to aspire for a lower standard - save for the exceptions of Penguin Cafe, Oarhouse, and Cafe Adriatico.

Unfortunately, that list must now be revised. It seems that Cafe Adriatico has decided to shed it's classy image and join the rest of the kabaduyan (tackiness) which surrounds it and "reinvent" itself as something more and "appealing" to a "younger" market. Although the food might be the same, it's the little details which were changed that alter the entire image, ambience and experience of Cafe Adriatico. I mean really, it was already bad enough that they changed the downstairs flooring from the lovely original vigan ones to the current beige bathroom tiles but why - oh - why in heaven's name did they change the waiters' uniforms to hot orange (top photo, corner) and dispose of the lovely menus with the charming drawings of the Fondue girls (above)? What were they hoping for? That we would look at those butt-ugly cheese ball uniforms/powder blue clip art menus and say, "Wow! Look! How trendy! Gee! Now I'll definitely come back more often!" Who was the monkey who thought of this? Was he the same primate who designed their clunky website? They both seem to have a common color and theme. And the images of the Fondue girls were so iconic, practically the logo of Cafe Adriatico. Don't even get me started about what a mistake it was to get rid of them. LJC, these are majorly majorly wrong moves, dudes. Rethink your strategy. Do you still want to maintain yourselves as the touchstone of bohemian sophistication in Malate or do you now want to be a Jollibee? I think the answer is easy.