Mar 10, 2008

[Pink Scene] A Better Club Mafia Manila (One Month Later)

Pretty much one month after the official opening of Club Mafia Manila, I finally came back to check things out, as promised in my first look review of the bar. I have to admit that there had been some noticeable improvements from that first night and a much fuller place as compared to before, which is great for them!

Let's run down the major changes I liked so far:

Lower Entrance Fee - The first positive change they made was to lower their entrance fee. I don't say this to imply they are not of the same caliber as the more-established bars like Bed and Government, but more because it makes sense from a business perspective and they are the new player after all. It certainly helps get more warm bodies into the club, which is what any starting bar needs to get the buzz generating.

Improved Dance Area - As much as I personally liked the more generic approach to the design of Club Mafia in terms of its greater focus on a larger dance area, we have to face that fact that queers love dancing on risers, stages and ledges and so Mafia definitely needed more of that. True to form, when we visited Club Mafia last Saturday night every riser / stage that they had set up was occupied with dancing queer bois, and thus getting more people to dance along.

Better Music - The music was worlds better this time around than the pseudo Euro trance stuff they were playing before - case in point being the fact a few minutes in and we got to enjoy Shining Star, Young Hearts Run Free and Let's Hear It For the Boy while we were there. True, they're not necessarily the most current songs or even dynamically new remixes, but a return to more dance-able music and gay anthems was definitely welcome and a lot of fun too.

We weren't able to try any of their cocktails this time around and just stuck to beers (which remain cheaper than most bars), which was still good. Service has also improved in terms of responsiveness and drink delivery time, which is to be expected as compared to their opening night.

I can see Club Mafia Manila initially giving the likes of O Bar a run for their money since they're normally the place to go for a lower entrance fee and a ticket to cheaper beer. Given Mafia is a lot larger, still with better lights and sounds and now better music, they're definitely going to get somewhere and help build a stronger group of loyal visitors.

I just don't get the curtains made out of chains - they create odd human traffic flow issues and ruin some of the nicer green laser lights that I enjoyed so much the last time around. Oh well.

The next step for them seems to be hosting regular events and starting March 15 they'll be searching for a regular Hunk of the Week (if I read the poster correctly). That should definitely get more buzz moving along and should provide some pretty healthy competition for the other Malate bars.

Good Job Club Mafia Manila! I officially like you more than Government now!

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