However the inveterate opinion maker may have meant it, it was the FVR years and the economic climate they created—along with its bent on the era’s buzzword “globalization”—that allowed for, and fostered, the kind of sexy, swanky, cosmopolitan world that was Giraffe.
“I would go there seven days a week,” says the artist manager Joji Dingcong, as much a fixture at the bar as R. de Leon’s squiggly drawings of the towering spotted animal emblazoned on the establishment’s walls.
Gretchen also shares photos which showed her bonding moments with family and friends inside their hotel-like home.
All parts of La Greta’s mansion exude extravagance, from the furniture, to the decorations and even the tiny details look so expensive.
They were a spirited bunch that included pre- Anton San Diego, interior designer Anton Mendoza, actor Eric Quizon, man-about-town Pepper Teehankee, the realtor Johnny Velasquez and his partner Maripi Muscat, and a very young, new-in-the-scene Tim Yap who, in those days, would arrive in a serious suit jacket, sometimes bringing flyers for events he cooked up—to the raised eyebrows of the black-clad, snooty sipping their vodka tonics by the ramp.
The ‘Outfit Of The Day’ (OOTD) photos of La Greta turns out to be like a grand photo as she used parts of their mansion as her background. For its wideness, surely a huge number of guests can be accommodated.
That it had an inflexible chef—the Grand Hyatt Honolulu import Greg Montañes, a Mexican-American unwilling to compromise his five-star-hotel menu—didn’t help the business.
“The food cost was, I believe, about 70 percent [of the menu price], so naturally you couldn’t survive.
Quiet dining attracted too small a crowd, and an after-office throng willing to burn some cash couldn’t be ignored, fired up as it was by the smell of prosperity in the air—imagined or not.
Malate was having a revival as a party strip, confident in its carefree, bohemian allure.
The writer Krip Yuson once described it as “the epitome of Swing Scene Makati—as primary a meat market as its prime location.” The location being what was, at that time, Makati’s new prize corporate address: 6750 Ayala Avenue.