restaurants in Metro Manila

Cafe Via Mare’s Greenbelt 1 branch to close down due to building demolition

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Cafe Via Mare’s Greenbelt 1 branch to close down due to building demolition

Cafe Via Mare's Facebook

Although the restaurant bids this chapter goodbye with 'profound sadness', it is ready to welcome patrons to its new home in Greenbelt 5 soon

MANILA, Philippines – Another institutional favorite is bidding its iconic Greenbelt spot goodbye.

Cafe Via Mare announced “with a mixture of emotions” that it will be closing its Greenbelt 1 branch on March 31.

“This closure is not of our choosing, but rather a consequence of the impending demolition of the iconic Greenbelt 1 building,” the restaurant said as they shared the “bittersweet news.”

The Greenbelt 1 location holds a “special place” in the brand’s heart as the birthplace of the first Cafe Via Mare in the 1980s.

“It has been a beacon of Filipino culinary excellence, pioneering the concept of a truly Filipino café and offering beloved dishes like Bibingka, Puto-Bumbong, Pancit Luglog, and Dinuguan,” it wrote.

“Saying farewell to this chapter fills us with profound sadness. Its walls bear witness to laughter, conversations, and shared moments of thousands who have dined within,” Cafe Via Mare added.

The team acknowledged, however, that as this chapter closes, another one begins – the restaurant will be eagerly welcoming patrons to “create new memories together” at its new home in Greenbelt 5 soon.

“Before we close our doors in just a couple of weeks, we invite you to join us for one last meal in our original Cafe Via Mare, where our journey began. Let’s indulge in a final taste of nostalgia before bidding adieu to this beloved chapter in our lives,” Via Mare said, thanking their Greenbelt 1 diners for their unwavering love and support.

“Here’s to honoring the past, embracing the present, and looking forward to the future of Via Mare.”

Cafe Via Mare joins Mary Grace, which also had to close down its famed Greenbelt 2 branch on January 2 after 12 years, to make way for a Greenbelt 5 relocation. That particular branch was also close to the brand owners’ hearts.

Greenbelt 1, located on the corner of Paseo de Roxas and Legazpi streets in Makati’s central business district, was constructed and opened in 1982.

In July 2023, Ayala Land filed a petition with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) to remove the presumption of the Greenbelt 1 building in Makati as an Important Cultural Property (ICP). It is considered an ICP because it was designed by National Artist for Architecture Leandro V. Locsin.

Ayala Land said in their petition that while the building was designed by a National Artist, it does not have exceptional cultural, artistic, or historical significance to the country.  They argued that Ayala Land is being obligated to maintain the building but is not receiving government support.

The Inquirer reported on July 12 that Greenbelt 1 will be torn down by the first half of 2024 to redevelop the space into a complex that includes shops, a large park, office spaces, a hotel, and bigger cinemas, as well as a more refreshed and redeveloped look. –

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