PENGUIN was here...
for most of the first half of the 1990s.
I wooed women and got mind-numbingly wasted there so often
that I eventually became the only regular who was
invited to the serving staff's Christmas parties.
It was The Bar of Bars of my reckless youth, and to this day,
no other has come close to replacing it in my affections.
Well, it's gone now.
There's a gaping vacant lot
by the Remedios Circle in Malate
where that most Bohemian of Bars used to be.
Practically all my beloved bars and restaurants in Old Malate
Patio Guernica is now a poker club, Moviola turned Japanese,
Camp Gourmet and Hard Rock, abandoned and empty,
and even Tia Maria will soon be a Cowboy Grill.
Garlic Rose, Cafe Caribana, Patio Mequeni:
one-of-a-kind restaurants, still very much missed;
Insomnia and Iguana, Sala and Blue
Weinstube, arguably the greatest date place ever,
now just lives on in the annals of Malate's romantic history.
However, the hidden Cosa Nostra
lives on, still with the same waiter and
the same cashier and the same five tables...
But Penguin, my Penguin, is finally extinct.