Having a good set of friends is one of the best, if not essential, things in life. Friends you can hang out with, you can share your setbacks and victories with, and—if you’re lucky—start a successful business with.
That’s how After All Bar & Grill came to fruition in the first place. This resident hang-out place in SM Jazz is owned by 24 gentlemen who love good food, good music, and good company. “We came up with it spontaneously—which is probably the best way to start something,” shares Jess Villiongco, one of the many co-owners. “We wanted a place where we can have get-togethers.”
This makes the restaurant’s name so much more meaningful. After All originated from a 1989 hit song performed as a duet by Cher and Peter Cetera. It tells the story of people who still end up together after all they’ve been through—like it’s fate, like it’s meant to be, and perhaps that can be applied to what this restaurant symbolizes, as well.
A year after its establishment, After All has already amassed a huge and loyal following. It’s easy to see why.
“People can come here to jam, especially those who like to sing,” Villiongco says. “After All is a place for hang-outs. It has a cozy atmosphere.”
The ambiance is comfortable and friendly for all ages—whether you’re a baby boomer or a millennial, you’ll certainly feel at ease in this restaurant. The interiors make for a sleek and contemporary design, with the bar area having a decorative shelf full of varying wine bottles that easily attracts the eye.
The menu is quite exceptional, and while After All is more of a bar resto that specializes in bar food and drinks for the after-work crowd, they also offer lunch at affordable prices. Some of their best dishes are the Romanian deviled squid, deep-fried crispy pata, beef salpicao, and crunchy pork sisig—all delicious and satisfying. Their craft cocktails still take the spotlight though. These alcoholic drinks are interesting in that not only do they taste good, they’re also aesthetically-pleasing. Crowd favorites include After Sunset, After All’s take on the classic Tequila Sunrise; Calibre, their rum-and-coke served in a glass rimmed with rock salt; and Sapporo Yuki Matsuri, a vodka-based apple shake inspired by the Sapporo Snow Festival in Japan.
One exciting thing to keep in mind is that After All is planning to offer dishes primarily for sharing when you come in big groups of two or three. They’re also going to offer unlimited steaks during special days so keep your eyes peeled!
There’s a live band performing every night so patrons can not only enjoy the food and the company, they can also enjoy the music—the perfect After All dining experience.
From the interiors to the menu, everything about After All speaks of comfort. It’s a place you can treat as a respite after a long day’s work, and also a place you can make good memories with your friends; after all, that’s what this bar and grill is all about.
Photographed by Godwin Gasacao