Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ozamiz Nightlife: Gats Bar

And the night has fallen. After a hefty dinner at La Veranda (that’s the Ryoal Garden’s restaurant), I asked around where I might be able to check-out a place that has/is a bar and live music. Initially, what the waiters offered were a number of sing-along joints (yep, karaoke). The “live” singing they meant was those of you who’d grab the microphone drop a 5-peso coin and croak with the music!

I said, I was looking for a decent bar, yep with booze or beer, but not where just any trike driver or carpenter with a 5-peso coin can go up the microphone. I said I was looking for something like a live band, acoustic singers and so on. One of the waiters smiling said “aw”! Then they asked their colleagues and other folks and voila! They told me to look for “Gats Bar”. So I did!

My trike ride going to Gats Bar was on a very familiar road. Of course, of course… hotel crews and trike driver told me the bar is somewhere near the city hall. So I anticipated that with excitement as I know the city hall area is breezy with a lot of trees. Was there in the afternoon, remember?! On arrival, I told myself “I know this place”!. It was actually the restaurant I saw earlier in the afternoon as I roamed the city hall premises. Gats Bar & Restaurant sits by the side of the park, near where the “giant caterpillar” starts! Whoa! I even almost checked-out the restaurant area (ground floor) but I was not that hungry!

So I went up the bar (2nd level) where tables are spread out from the porch all the way inside where the bar and band-stage are located. Whoa! FULL! But I waded through the lot of humanity till I reached the bar where (fortunately) there was one available barstool for me to quickly grab. Yey! Band was already at play so I settled with my SML listening to them.

What can I say...! The bar? Excellent! The band? Excellent! Why? Because this is the only place of its kind in Ozamiz hehe! Well the food is good. Its real restaurant food and a mix of from anything Pinoy to anything western or continental. There’s a real restaurant downstairs, remember?! The girl in the band sang well. The lead guitarist even sang well enough too. But the male vocalist seemed to be not in his best that night. Anyway, for lack of anything else similar to go to, I stayed on and enjoyed listening to them sing or tease their audience.

Oh.. audience? The clientele in this place is from yuppies to brats. And my San Miguel Light bottle was starkly a minority that earned quick glances from everyone. Why? Because the “main event” in this bar (as is anywhere in the Visayas and Mindanao) is… you guessed it.. “Red Horse” and not drank from the bottle but via the “tagay-tagay” style. As I have said long ago in many a story… even girls drink Red Horse too! Rare are the margaritas and mojitos!

Crowd? Normal working class bar crowd – I mean audience can get rowdy when teased by the singers, but generally prim. Most are even dressed to impress. I did not see much of the high school or college brats whose waistlines are in their thighs and who easily wage war at even just a glance of a stranger. There were very few of those at Gats Bar the time I was there. Thankfully!

Oh hey, here are some vids that I took if only to capture the singing as the place was too dark for my camera.


  1. See you soon ozamiz

  2. hi just came across your blog about gats, although you post it back in 09, just wanted to say thanks in behalf of Gat's bar...we have moved to a new location...again thanks

  3. was in Ozamiz City 2013--enjoyed --so much I am returning soon.Met a stunner--Susy was her name--from Clarin--out by the bridge.Met her at the bar/club--love to catch up again .Perhaps you may know her?