A military’s pub

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Friday, January 31, 2014

WHAT'S the best way to wrap up a manic weekend but to sing a song by The Beatles, or lurk somewhere in the city to flush out all the day’s toxic down the drain.

It’s been a hard day’s night and you’ve been working like a dog. It’s Friday, finally. Dive into Red 9 and let a glass of Jack (Daniels) make you feel alright.

Red 9 is the brainchild of Filipino-American James Castañeda, the husband of co-owner Kate Castañeda. James serves in the US Navy bearing the code Red 9. Navy is synonymous with water, the sea or things blue. So that explains the “irony” of colors between the bluish atmosphere inside the bar and its name. Since James is on active duty, the business is managed instead by Kate and her sisters, April (the official manager) and Beverly Bustillo.


The 46-square-meter chill out space in Barangay Apas, Cebu City, was opened on Jan. 15 in time for the Sinulog revelry. It houses liquors, spirits, whiskeys, cocktails and other bottled displays (non-alcoholic, included) to satisfy the thirsty.

Resident bartender Jaime experimented on vodka, all-purpose cream and lime juice among other elements. Now his creation, “Sex with the Bartender,” is becoming popular to the crowd. Attractive? Controversial? You’ll be the judge when you taste it.

Other bar specialties are Red 9’s version of “Tequilla Sunrise Margarita Blue” and “Weng-Weng,” the latter being a heady mix of rum, whiskey, vodka, gin, tequilla, orange and pineapple juice.

For the hungry, categories on the menu have witty, military twang: Pork Battalion, Chicken Squad and The General’s Choice such as “Mushroom Bullets” and “Peanut Bunker.”

The officer will have something new cooking every month. Keep posted, soldiers.

On testing the market, anything goes for the new entrant—the young, the baby boomers and the business process outsourcing community, which the Bustillo sisters have a background on. But the pub is partly positioned for the high-end set, especially for guests staying at Tsai Hotel where the bar is tucked.

There are 30 seats inside and an al fresco area altogether. Wi-fi connection is ready for online status updates while house music is rolling to “drum up” your sessions.

Every hour is a happy hour. The staff is just around for any other needs, like restroom directions.

Red 9 is the nook in flashing neon blue along Wilson St. It’s open daily from 12 noon to 3 a.m. Closing time is extended until 5 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Drink and dine. That’s an order!

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 01, 2014.


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