This place is awesome! I’m super excited to have found it, and also can’t believe that I missed it for so long. I work online on my laptop, some times 10-12 hours each day, so good coffee shops and cafes are indispensable – and a new one added to the rotation is a true blessing.
But even though Dumaguete is a small and tight-knit community, I had no idea that this place existed. But a friend first told me about when we met up, and I checked it out that same day, albeit without high hopes.
Coffee Bar is also totally nondescript from the outside, located without much signage or fanfare. But if you find the right narrow doorway and walk up the steep steps, you’ll be amazed what you find.
Walking in, I seriously thought I was in some really fun college party house or millionaire bachelor’s lounge. The walls are red brick, which adds a lot of character and warmth, and the floor is industrial, stained concrete, which adds to its modern feel.
One the two end walls of the long, open space sit floor to ceiling bookshelves, as well as big air conditioners to keep the place adequately cooled, even when it’s crowded. The book shelves are filled to the brim with English and Filipino books that people can read for free, and there are a couple of giant teddy bears bigger than a person in their midst.
Running along one side of the café are double decker cubicles, for lack of a better description, The top level is accessible by little wooden ladders, and each cubicle has a table, chairs, an overhead light, and a small window with curtains. The ceiling in each cubicle is only about 5 feet tall, so it’s super cute and perfect for sitting down. In fact, I have local friends who order a coffee or soda and then go up in those semi-private areas and fall asleep for a couple of hours, which is perfectly acceptable in this living room-like café setting.
But there are also approximately 15 or 20 other small round tables in the main café space that does have a 12-foot ceiling. The café also has a full sized pool table, dart board, and a great ping pong table, and it’s encouraging to see that they’re the center of activity.
The care also has a huge flatscreen on one wall that plays movies or good music videos on loop.
With all of this amazingly fun ambiance, it’s worth to mention that they have food, drinks, and coffee! They feature some great fruit iced teas but also have inexpensive beers and plenty of coffee drinks. I’m a big fan of lattes, and while it’s decent, hot, and cheap here, it’s not the best in town. But that’s ok because the fun, funky atmosphere more than makes up for it. They also have plenty of bar food snacks but I prefer the sunilogs, or rice meals. They have spicy tuna, beef, chicken, or squid over rice for less than $2 USD, and it’s somewhere between a hearty snack and a light meal.
They also have free wi-fi for patrons, which is solid but can waver if too many people are here using it. All in all, Bar Café is my new go-to place for coffee and some grub while I work, beers with work, or just meeting up with friends.
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