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Boracay Is Back And The Sunny Side Café Group Is Ready To Serve You

To the dismay of tourists and beachgoers, the Philippine government shut down Boracay last April 2018 in order to rehabilitate this one pristine island paradise. Now, after six months of rebuilding, cleaning, and restoring, the beach we’ve missed is back from its long rest. According to Department of Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo Puyat, the island will no longer be a party place. Instead, the government will strongly promote sustainable tourism to preserve its beauty.  


READ: Their Boracay Stories: Marc Nelson and Maggie Wilson Share Personal Bora Memories


Sporting a few good reminders and a lot of precautions, the Department of Tourism allowed around a hundred accredited establishments in the island to reopen on October 26. Aside from our favorite resorts like Discovery Shores, Shangri-La Boracay, The Lind, The Tides Hotel, and of course the home of that Boracay staple—four cheese pizza and oyster sisig—Two Seasons Boracay, one of the island’s most active restaurant groups, The Sunny Side Café Group, is more than ready for the reopening of its restaurants. 

Nowie and his wife Odette Potenciano operate several popular restaurants in Boracay: The Sunny Side Café, Spicebird Piri-Piri Grill, Supermagic Burgers & Ice Cream, Coco Mama, and Popo Teahouse. We recently had an exclusive interview with Nowie who he let us in on what went down during the immediate closure of Boracay and what can tourists expect on the reopening of their restaurants.



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Nowie shares that the island shutdown was very difficult for everyone. To close their establishments with a timeline of only three weeks, Nowie confesses that they had a hard time managing their stocks, having already built up inventory in anticipation of the summer season, and making sure their staff were in good shape. “Fortunately, some industry friends in Manila helped us by offering some of their spaces for pop-ups (Canvas, Alabang for The Sunny Side Café and Hole In The Wall for Spicebird and Coco Mama), and placements for some of our staff. This helped us keep more than 50 employees afloat during the closure for at least a few months,” says Nowie. 


READ: Boracay Officially Reopens On October 26 After A Six-Month Full Lockdown


Now that the island is reopening, Nowie feels a sense of relief. After the uncertainty of the past few months, Nowie admits that he still feels anxious, as he is still unsure if tourists will come back to Boracay right away. The island needs all the help it can get after six months of having zero income.



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“Working extra hard with well-planned initiatives, at the very least, with our restaurants, we can make sure that visitors to Boracay will have a memorable meal every day of their stay here,” Nowie shares. With the reopening of their restaurants, Nowie promises some new and exciting offers. Diners can expect more seafood options, thanks to a new seafood supplier that offers more consistency of its products. At The Sunny Side Café, some of the new seafood dishes include Arroz de Marisco, a mélange of seafood with rice and spices. At Spicebird, guests can order the Piri-Piri Crab or mud crab cooked with crab fat and their famous Piri-Piri Sauce. At Supermagic, new on offer is the Soft-shell Crab Burger.



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Nowie adds that they now use more local Filipino ingredients to create more Filipino-inspired dishes. “For example, we have a new Purple Heirloom Rice Champorado at The Sunny Side Café which uses heirloom rice from Banawe.” They also plan to add more Filipino bread options to the menu such as Dark Chocolate Ensyamada, piyaya, and champorado cookies. They’ve also implemented more vegan options for healthy eaters, such as Piri-Piri Falafel at Spicebird.



Diners can also look forward to collaborations with top chefs like Patrick Go and Him Uy de Baron, and mixologist David Ong of The Curator at The Sunny Side Café and Popo Teahouse. While the island was still closed, the Potencianos worked with Pedro Brewcrafters to create their very own The Sunny Side Brew craft beer which will be available in all their restaurants. Plus, Risa Chocolates made their very own branded chocolate bars for The Sunny Side Café: Dark Chocolate with Dried Pineapple & Mango and White Chocolate with The Sunny Side Blend coffee beans.

The Potencianos have also committed to becoming more environmentally-friendly, in keeping with Boracay’s sustainability thrust. Since they first opened, they don’t use plastic bags and containers. But now, they’ve shifted to metal straws as well. “We are working with Plastic Battle by offering free refills of reusable water containers to discourage tourists from buying single-use plastic-bottled water. We intend to continue these initiatives. And as we reopen, we’re working on reducing single-use plastics in our kitchens by 75%,” shares Nowie.



Good news! All restaurants of The Sunny Side Group use more environmentally-friendly metal straws. Because of this, you can enjoy your favorite drinks without having to use disposable plastic straws which can harm marine life. And even for take-away orders, we use paper straws instead! Beachside drinks are now even better at @thesunnysideboracay @spicebirdgrill @supermagicburgers @cocomamaboracay and Popo Teahouse, all part of The Sunny Side Group in Boracay. #thesunnysidegroup #thesunnysidecafe #sunnysidecafe #spicebird #supermagicburgers #supermagicburgersandicecream #cocomama #popoboracay #boracay #boracayeats #boracayrestaurants #???? #??? #spotph #yummyph #previewph #trylocalph #pepperph #RediscoverBoracay

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As Boracay reopens, much of the island is unfortunately still in disrepair, with roads still looking like a war zone. But the Potencianos are hoping for the best, as they reopen most of their restaurants and some of our other favorite joints around the island like Cyma, Nonie’s, Station X and the home of the famous calamansi muffins, Real Coffee and Tea Café, on October 26 because they’d like to invite tourists to rediscover Boracay as soon as possible.


Check out their official website at for more details.


Spicebird Piri-Piri Grill:
Instagram: @spicebirdgrill

The Sunny Side Café:
Instagram: @thesunnysideboracay

Supermagic Burgers and Ice Cream:
Instagram: @supermagicburgers