SKYBOX: A Newly Opened Sports Bar to Check Out in Kapitolyo, Pasig
Opened just this July, Skybox Sports Bar is slowly becoming an after-office favorite among professionals working nearby the famed address of 16 United Street in Kapitolyo, Pasig. Home of the emerging container restaurants trend, 16 United Street is made even more exciting with their newest member that offers value-for-money food, relaxing atmosphere, and an amazing view.
From the owners’ simple goal of providing a simple hangout place for sports lovers, Skybox is now an overlooking open area bar where customers can relax, have a drink with their friends, and cheer on their favorite games with other sports enthusiasts. It’s a laidback and cozy place, you’ll even see the owners themselves hanging around the bar and cheering with the customers.
A BIT OF BACKGROUND
Before Skybox ended up on top, literally on the highest level of the three-storey container-built structure that houses restaurants in Kapitolyo, the beginnings of Skybox and how the owners got together was quite a story.
The first sports bar among the group of container restaurants in Kapitolyo
Marko Aquino, one of the owners, already had his own plans of opening a sports bar in Kapitolyo. The 32-year-old Financial Solutions Consultant was all set with a different partner, but plans didn’t simply work out. Enter his childhood friend Marlon Salvador who was also planning to open a sports bar with his best friend, Chef Rico Arellano, in Antipolo. Marko convinced the two to open in Kapitolyo instead, knowing that the market is there. Marlon and Rico agreed and tagged Marlon’s cousin, Jeremy Salvador, along. Finally, the boys were set.
Within months of planning, Skybox Sports Bar in Kapitolyo was born and it is now attracting a good number of young professionals and sports fanatics who are looking either for a good drink or a viewing place of their favorite game.
PLAIN AND PERFECT INTERIORS
Skybox Sports Bar is quite tricky and hard to find. Although you’ll be immediately lured by the many well-known restaurants on the first floor, just walk a little bit further and climb your way to the top. You’ll immediately see the logo of the bar.
Once you see their logo, just make your way to the top.
The open area will be the first to welcome you with its modest wooden seats and tables. The furniture is not bulky and gives a bit of space for customers to sit or stand and have a great conversation with their friends or other sports fanatics in the area. Although the walls don’t necessarily scream sports bar, the place is well-equipped with three giant television sets with speakers mounted strategically around the bar for a complete viewing experience. Paired with a couple of beers, you’ll find yourself comfortably cheering among other customers in the middle of the night.
No drama, just plain and perfect for after-office relaxation.
If there is one way to describe Skybox, it will be that it’s unpretentious. From the interiors to the food and drinks, the bar doesn’t put on a show but just a what-you-see-is-what-you-get type of service.
THE IN-YOUR-FACE MENU
Even though Skybox is just two months old, the menu is well-conceptualized and has a lot to offer. You expect newly opened bars with just the usual pulutan or finger foods and a couple of booze, but Skybox already has a set of sumptuous wings, popular Filipino favorites, and a couple of heavy meals to offer — an impressive and aggressive approach which suits the menu’s name: In Your Face!
Plain and simple menu offering “in-your-face” bar food.
The man behind the kitchen is Chef Rico Arellano, one of the owners of the sports bar. Chef Rico was a former banker who shifted into a new career in 2009 to become a chef. He studied at First Gourmet Academy and has since worked in various hotels and restaurants in the Philippines and in the United States before he decided to venture into his own.
Skybox’s version of the Canadian’s Poutine
Chef Rico and the rest of the owners created a menu of bar chow foods that are real value for money. It is literally in-your-face menu, as the owners describe their food, that doesn’t crowd your plate with inedible garnishes but rather with great tasting food served in good portions.
For a light finger food to start your night out, you can try their fries and gravy, Poutine Your Mouth! The potatoes are crunchy and not too oily, topped with pork bits, and come with the perfect mix of gravy and bleu cheese sauce.
The Triple Threat, Skybox’s own take of Buffalo wings.
If you are a wing fanatic, Skybox also has a great range of wing selection from the classic fried chicken to the hottest wings. One that stands out is Triple Threat, their version of Buffalo wings. The wings are crispy and have that distinct spicy and yet buttery taste that make it savory and not too overpowering. It also comes with a bleu cheese dip to dial down the hotness, perfect for those who are not too fond of spicy dishes.
The truth is… this sisig is one of the best in town.
For those who are craving for the classic Filipino pulutan, you can order The Truth, their version of sisig. The dish is very flavorful that you don’t need to add any condiments or sauces to make it tasty. The seasoning is well-balanced, not too salty and has the right amount of kick. Same goes with their Stockton to Malone or their tokwa’t baboy. The tofu is not soggy but rather crunchy, same with the crispy fried pork. The dishes don’t have any fancy garnishes and are not swimming in too much sauce, another perfect combo with your beer.
Bad Intentions will make a perfect dinner for those who are looking for a heavy meal.
Skybox also has some options for those who are looking for a decent dinner. You can order their best-seller and own creation of Horseshoe Sandwich, Bad Intentions for a hearty meal while watching your favorite game. Made with 100% Angus beef, the open-faced burger is topped with their Poutine Your Mouth fries and a secret cheese sauce.
STRAIGHT UP AUTHENTIC COCKTAILS
Looking for a drink? Choose from weng-weng, mojito, ameretto sour, or margarita (L-R).
A bar wouldn’t be a bar without the booze. Skybox offers the usual favorite local beers and also the well-known hard drinks, but the highlights of the bar are their own version of cocktails. The drinks are straight up authentic cocktails not swimming in sugar and not overly designed with garnishes. Their best-seller, Weng-weng is a stand out with its solid mix of alcohol. Other versions of this drink are usually downplayed with too much sweetness but Skybox’s version is well-balanced and has that strong effect that you look for in a cocktail. Another great option is their Mojito, with its light and refreshing taste but still maintaining that kick from the rum.
Like their food, their drinks are also a real value-for-money deal that will not leave you empty-handed after a good night out.
FROM MORNING ’TIL MIDNIGHT
When asked why they open as early as 4:00 PM, Skybox wants to accommodate those who want to catch the basketball games live, knowing that we Filipinos are fond of the sport. From local leagues to international games, the bar is ready and willing to adjust to any game. They even once opened as early as 10:00 AM just to host an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) match viewing party and the turnout was incredible.
Whatever game at whatever time, Skybox is willing to adjust to accommodate its customers.
The owners encourage the customers to just visit their Facebook page and hit RSVP for any upcoming games. They are also active in promoting any upcoming matches from basketball to mixed martial arts and hosts viewing parties for the customers to enjoy. Skybox also has their own Ladies Night and beer bucket promos perfect for those who plan to party the night away or just hang out with their friends and relax for extended hours and not run out of drinks.
A STAND OUT
Overall, the owners were able to achieve their goal of putting up a simple, honest-to-goodness sports bar, where different folks can enjoy and share their love for sports. Yet, clearly, they have also made the place a standout. So far, it is the only sports bar in the area, it opens as early as 4:00 PM, and it provides great food and drinks and a fun and relaxed atmosphere without being flashy. Although it might get crowded because of the space, you’ll forget that once you’re already having a great time with your friends. Worried about the parking? You can use the parking area at Ace Water Spa situated just in front of Skybox.
Two of the owners of Skybox Sports Bar, Marko (left), and Chef Rico (right)
There is also more to be expected in Skybox Sports Bar. Customers can look forward to upcoming menu additions and draft beers. This makes this bar all the more better and outstanding.
Skybox is a little hidden gem just waiting to be discovered. The next time you happen to visit the famed address of #16 United St. Kapitolyo, make sure to make your way straight to the top.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: ShoppersGuide would like to thank Skybox Sports Bar for accepting ShopperGuide’s invitation to feature their establishment.