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MRP Building, Mola Corner Pasong Tirad Streets, Brgy La Paz, Makati City

Girl in a jacket

All roads must come to an end—Route 196 bids farewell

One of the most iconic bars in the metro, Route 196, is closing its doors after 15 years.

As the threats of the pandemic continue to keep us at home, we surely miss going out to our favorite spots. We long for those simpler times when we could retreat to the places we consider to be our safe haven after a long day at work or school. For some, they found comfort in the community of the local gig scene—listening to live music while surrounded by good company.

While we’re counting down the days until we can be welcomed back to these spaces, many businesses can’t afford to wait as they struggle to stay afloat without their loyal patrons. Unfortunately for gig-goers, they recently had to say goodbye to a staple of the Metro Manila music scene.

Route 196 recently announced that the bar was closing down for good.

Located along Katipunan Avenue, Route 196 served as a home to both established and up-and-coming OPM bands. With their signature tagline, “All roads lead to Route,” artists and music-lovers alike could always look forward to coming back to a place they called home. But as they say, every journey has a beginning and an end.

The bar’s management posted an animation of its iconic LED sign going dim, “Alas, we’re at the end of the road for Route 196,” they captioned.

As a parting gift, the bar released a limited edition T-shirt designed by artist Rob Cham. The bar bids farewell to their loving patrons with a touching sentiment, “So here, take us with you in your next journey. And never forget that, for 15 years, all roads led to Route 196.” 

The shirt features an illustration of what a typical night at Route might look like.

Purchase the shirt at Manila Takeout for P850

The pandemic definitely hasn’t been forgiving as people struggle to make ends meet, so for their part, the bar will provide additional support for its employees through the shirt’s sales.

Here’s to the nights well spent, Route 196.

POP! Creator Community / Lyshiel Aranal


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