Creative cocoon with specialty coffee
Speciality coffee shop
At the Den the architect designers double as baristas and make an ace macchiato, hot or cold. First United tenants Gabriel Villegas and his two co-owners Carlo Magno Jose and Arts Serrano (who is also the architect of the HUB) perfected their brews at a HUB coffee pop up before they transformed the hidden corner of the building into the local hotspot. The playfully designed industrial interior takes its inspiration from the Art Deco building in which it’s located but gives it a whole new look with unfinished concrete walls and sleek steel and wooden communal tables and bookcases. The Den attracts that nice mix of office workers, students, artists and backpackers that end up staying longer than intended… guaranteed.
The Den uses local beans from Kalsada. This boutique coffee company -conveniently headquartered in the First United Building - has a mission: to bring the Philippine coffee industry back to its former glory, one farm at a time. They work directly with farmers throughout the country, not just to produce beans of exceptional quality but also to establish a new generation of Filipino coffee growers.
Time for a beer
Not in the mood for coffee, try Fred’s Revolucion. This is the 2nd branch of popular local craft beer café for ‘serious drinkers’. No closed steel shutters here, but a wide open veranda, the perfect place for a beer and a hearty meal and watch the world go by. “It’s an honour to be part of historic Escolta,” says Jose Enrique Soriano, cook and owner of Fred’s Revolucion. “A revival is in order.”