At the far end of Hub Make Lab, on the first floor of the First United Building on Escolta stands The Den, a 30-seater coffee shop that could be your new favorite hiding place, if it isn’t already.
Unfinished gray walls provide a cave-like vibe, a beautiful contrast to the sleek steel and wooden furniture. A tall bookcase full of cool one-of-a-kind and handmade curios makes the long ten-seater table on the right side of the shop perfect for a “working lunch” with the team.
Apart from the usual tables for parties of three or four, is a high-seating bar perfect for freelancers and solo flights, the table providing enough space for your laptop and a latte. On the walls on the left side hang a cool triptych FPJ pop-art.
Outside, a comfortable and well-ventilated sala-like space can accommodate at least four smokers at a time. Soft, warm lighting and perfect music at a perfect volume make The Den even more inviting. It gives you enough creativity boost, with nothing too distracting to make you bounce off the walls. It makes you want to stay for as long as you please.
Opened only in July, The Den is owned by architect Arts Serrano, the architect behind Hub Make Lab, Carlo Jose, and Gab Villegas, a founding member of 98B, the collective holding office at the second floor of the building and who are somewhat responsible for the revival of Escolta.
The Den serves coffee, several non-caffeinated drinks, a handful of hot dishes (amen to the eggplant lasagna!) and pastries, and one-of-a-kind handmade paper products. They get their beans from Kalsada, which they also sell, in case you love it so much you want to take it home.
Which might be getting ahead of the story, really. Because at The Den, home may be the farthest thing in your muddled mind. It’s perfect for when you want hibernate, go on a low-key date, or need to cram for a deadline.There’s not a lack of inspiration here, or of conversation pieces, or of personal space.
The Den G/F First United Building, 413 Escolta Street, Manila. Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-9pm. +632 9603650
Headline photo: The Den | Instagram
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