Every Katipunan kid knows about Route 196, especially those who appreciate good food, good drinks and good live music. The iconic Quezon City bar and live music venue has been around for 15 years, but it has sadly hit the end of the road this month.
On the night of Aug. 23, Route 196’s management announced on social media that it is permanently closing down.
“Alas, we’re at the end of the road for Route 196. We may be walking towards a different direction for now, but we wanted to make sure you had something to always remind you of our crazy ride together, the things we learned, the noise we made, the rules we broke, and the friends we picked up along the way. So here, take us with you in your next journey. And never forget that, for 15 years, all roads led to Route 196,” wrote the bar’s management team.
As a parting gift, the pub and live music venue is selling farewell T-shirts designed by Rob Cham. Available for P850 at manilatakeout.com, Route 196 stated that proceeds from the shirts’ sales will be used to help its employees.
Known as a home to many indie musicians that range from big names in the industry to rising college bands, the pub has made its mark as one of the best places for gigs in the northern side of Metro Manila. Aside from this, its loyal customers often come back for their delicious barbeque, wacoyaki and deviled chicken, which they also offered for takeout and delivery during the quarantine period.
Among the local musicians who bid farewell to the pub is UDD’s Armi Millare, who shared a photo taken during a Route 196 gig along with a heartfelt message reminiscing memories at the pub.
“Route had the best pizza (such thin, thin crust and never scrimped on their toppings, ever) but my usual which only required one wink at the awesome kitchen staff was their Deviled Tofu w/ blue cheese dip on the side. By God, I ate that at least once a month— or I guess twice, since I always ordered double,” wrote Millare.
“Route always had a crowd that listened. Always. This light-hearted collective with whom I would have a more comfortable banter with, cracking sad bastard jokes every chance I got. I could say a good chunk of our listeners saw us there. Here, I also called a man out, drunk beyond belief for the first and last time in my life (clearly he wasn’t a regular). Some nights I would attend my friends’ shows which I couldn’t do in other bars as much. With 98% good memories and 2% not- so, you know my Northie heart breaks a bit to see it go. They took such good care of the bands playing there,” she added.
Kean Cipriano also said, “Salamat sa magagandang alaala, masasayang tugtugan, malamig na beer at maanghang na chicken wings at tofu!”
“So sad to hear that @route196rocks is closing it’s doors. Thank you for giving us a place to play our songs. This place will definitely be missed,” wrote Robin Nievera on Instagram as well.
Hit band Itchyworms also shared their appreciation for Route 196 by sharing a photo of their gig at the pub.
“Nag-iba man ang anyo, di natinag ang pagsasama. Salamat sa mahigit isang dekada. Hanggang sa muli,” wrote Johnoy Danao on his farewell post to Route 196.
Header photo from Route 196
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Writer: YANN MAGCAMIT