When 4 pals give coffee shop business a unique bar twist
They love to drink cocktails and they already have an experience of running a business together being partners in a one-year-old coffee shop business somewhere in Cebu City.
These are among the ties that bind four long-time entrepreneur friends, who co-own Linear Coffee Roasters, a small coffee shop in Cebu City.
With two of them having had stints as bartenders, it was not surprising for Christian Badon, Marlon Casiño, Lanz Mirondo, and Jimmy Dominggo to again up the ante in their business venture — add a bar to their coffee shop business.
After almost a year of operating Linear Coffee Roasters, Casiño said they started conceptualizing the idea of transforming the coffee shop into a bar in the evenings.
“We are long time friends. And we love to drink cocktails. At one point, we thought, why not put up our own bar?” Casiño said.
New site, new opening
And so the friends found a bigger location for their business — a spot in Big Hotel at Mandaue’s North Reclamation Area near Parkmall.
Their coffee shop in the mornings cum bar in the evenings business opened in August this year.
In the mornings, they run the Linear Coffee Roasters there and in the evenings, they turn it into the Guion Bar.
Casiño said they set aside P200,000 when they decided to open Guion Bar.
They used this to buy additional furniture and fixtures for the bar as well as the equipment they put up like speakers.
With their business already being unique in the sense that it’s a coffee shop in the mornings and a bar in the evenings, they also made sure that Guion Bar would be unique in the cocktails and their sides.
With Casiño and Mirondo, who are former bartenders, sharing their skills and expertise in the business, they were able to come up with their unique cocktails and delicacy pairings, like vodka with otap, gin and masi, which are both signature handcrafted cocktails with local Cebuano delicacies as sides at the bar.
They currently have nine signature cocktails, the names of which could be mouthful for some.
These include “Tinhura Lunhaw Guanabana,” which is a New York Vodka palette enhancer with a mix of matcha tea and soursop to help boost immunity.
It is garnished with an otap, a local puff pastry.
Another signature cocktail is the “Imperyo Bagnos,” which is made of gin with sea salt, cucumber and grapefruit. It is paired with masi, a chewy mochi filled with peanut paste; while “Aslom na Asno” is made of a mule drink with whiskey and passion fruit plus the aroma of burnt rosemary. It comes with tamarind.
Each cocktail is priced at P180.
Aside from their unique cocktails, Guion Bar also offers other usual drinks including local beers, and other alcoholic beverages.
They currently have two full-time bartenders.
Badon said aside from creating unique cocktails, they would also want to be a venue to help aspiring bartenders in Cebu.
“Our inspiration is to promote craft cocktails specially our local brands as well as to support bartenders in their skills and for them to be more passionate in terms of drink concoction and being productive,” he said.
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