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Tired after a long day of school or work? There’s a new place perfect to relax and chill for you and your friends.

Located at Pilar Hidalgo Lim in Malate, Manila, the recently-opened Default Cafe Pub is where you can drink cocktails and sip your favorite cup of coffee afterward, or vice versa.

This two-floor cafe and pub ‘caters to the chill vibe of being a café but at the same time the engaging atmosphere of a pub’.

Upon entrance, a giant neon signage saying, “Chase the world together,” will greet you beside the cocktails counter. Comfy couches, wooden tables and the cozy atmosphere lit by Riverdale-ish colors is just right for drinking your glass of tequila. Yas, aesthetics!

If you’re down for something more fun, an entertainment area at the second floor could be your nest. Filled with board games, a shelf of must-read books a gigantic television for movie-watching and the same plush couches, the area is the place to de-stress. We could literally live in this space!

While the interior can create the first impression, the real test is in the food and drinks – and Default’s are quite a stunner with its unique blends and IG-worthy looks. Try their blended beer and chocolate or BBC (no, not the British broadcasting station) or Oreo Vodka milkshakes.

If you’re one to love and adore pink, the Chocolate Strawberry Tequila Shake shots could be your best bet, with a working name of Powerpuff Shots. Cute! It tastes like the Filipino-favorite scramble but with a slight kick of liquor. We’re warning you, though: one shot is not enough.

Powerpuff Shots

And since this is a cafe and a pub, why not combine coffee and alcohol? Enter Default’s World Chaser.

Fish and Fries

You can try snacking on fried squid, and fish and fries, but their chicken wings are the bomb. Derived from their family recipe, flavors such as garlic parmesan, spicy buffalo, buttered garlic and honey barbecue were added.

Chicken Wings

Bob Freking, owner of and the brainchild behind the cafe pub, said its brand is about ideas and uniting them through engagement, hence, ‘unite the divide’. Combining the two main elements of his place is all for idea generation: coffee to focus and alcohol to be creative in coming up with ideas that do not dawn on people on a regular basis.

“Default is a place where you generate ideas and where you discuss those ideas and you share that experience with other people. So when people go here, I expect them to talk and chill. Hindi ‘yung punta ka lang dito tapos mag-stay ka mag-isa,” Freking said.

In an interview with MB Life, Freking shared that he has always wanted to have his own place. He comes from a family with a cafe business running for 34 years already (Does Cafe de Malate ring a bell?).

“My dream was to have a business and run it. Now, this is the first one I’m handling on my own,” he added.

Fresh out of college and a millenial himself, the 22-year-old Marketing graduate said he targets to pull in customers who are also in the same age range, which is most likely why the place has what the youngsters are looking for re: chicken wings, games, drinks, and IG-worthy corners to up your feed game.

One of the better parts of Default as well is its inclusivity, reflected in the littlest details such as its rest room. Only one is designated for men, women, and members of the LGBTQ community, which Freking said is something he’s truly proud of.

“We welcome everybody here at Default,” he said.

Default Cafe Pub is located at 1844 Pilar Hidalgo Lim, Malate, Manila. Near Taft, between Remedios & Nakpil. Open everyday, from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Photos from Madel Crudo and Monica Pantaleon


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