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12/10 Izakaya Is Closing On October 31

Our city's restaurant and bar scene is changing before our very eyes, but there's hope

Wasn’t it just yesterday when promising young couple Gab Bustos and Thea de Rivera opened The Girl + The Bull in Parañaque, a tiny restaurant with Instagrammable interiors (ahead of its time) and a top notch yet quirky approach to comfort food. Till now, we can still remember their signature Buttermilk Fried Chicken and best selling Faux Twix dessert.
















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And then in 2014, they opened a new concept. 12/10 along Guijo Street in Makati was a modern izakaya, with a unique and very interesting menu. I still remember the Uni Toast made with sourdough, fresh local uni, chicken liver and pineapple jam. And the Onigiri served like a taco, with foie gras, spring onions, balsamic maple syrup, and a housemade spicy sauce. Every single cocktail was a statement, from the F.U. Daisy named after the character in The Great Gatsby, and was a brighter, sunnier take on the classic Old Fashioned; to The Bison, a martini-inspired drink with grapefruit and chocolate liqueur. Even its location, in the non-glamorous part of Makati, lent character to 12/10. It was a cultural landmark in its own way, the original Poblacion before Poblacion was a thing. I loved it. 













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So I'm saddened that 12/10 will be closing its doors on October 31. “Here we are, approaching our 6th year, yet on the cusp of bidding our home in Guijo Street goodbye,” began their farewell post on social media.








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Here we are, approaching our 6th year, yet on the cusp of bidding our home in Guijo Street goodbye. We never thought this day would come — that we’d have to close our doors to your dinner celebrations, your first dates, your nights out alone, or your milestones. We can’t help but look back on all the special nights we’ve spent together — the night you got engaged, that time by the bar where you spent all night sampling all our cocktails, that evening you brought your ‘balikbayan’ relative to introduce them to Manila’s growing and thriving F&B scene, or even the night your tinder date was just simply written for disaster. Believe us when we say we will miss every single encounter with you here in our tiny izakaya corner. It is with a heavy heart that we announce that we will be packing up after service for the last time at the end of the month, October 31, for hibernation. COVID-19 had taken all of us by surprise; and while it has already changed everything, there is still such an unknown period ahead of us. As much as we’d love to ride the tide, 12/10 will have to take a rest for now to strengthen itself for its regrowth post-pandemic. This is not a goodbye. Simply delicious food, great drinks, and genuine intimate gatherings will forever live on. We will see you all again in a different, hopefully much better, form sooner than you’ll notice. Dearest friends, keep us company until the end of the month as we have a lot of 12/10 and @panko_ph love to share before we indefinitely sign off. Kanpai to all the memories shared, relationships strengthened, and palates nourished. Cheers! #twelvetenph

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Still, it's heartening to know that 12/10 is not permanently closing but only going into hibernation. In the meantime, a new concept, Panko Pussy, has been rolled out. This is a daytime food delivery service specializing in Japanese sando and similar sandwiches. You can find it on Instagram as @panko_ph.








 

We're certainly going to miss 12/10, and we'll be eagerly looking forward to their next new concept.  Gab, Thea and their team have been fun and inspiring cultural tastemakers for nearly a decade now, and we have faith in them, just as we have faith in the ability of the creative, hardworking people behind our city's beloved restaurants and bars to meet the challenges of this pandemic. In the meantime, let's do our best to support them in any way we can.