Laissez les bon temps roulez

I haven’t done that since God was a child. Yep, it’s has been ages since I spent hours in a tavern nibbling on bar chow and sipping cocktails, and actually enjoyed every minute of it. Time flew too quickly I might add, that if it weren’t for the city ordinance that drinking establishments stop serving at 1AM and have to be closed an hour later, I might/would/could have stayed longer, perhaps even witnessed the break of dawn and be surprised at that. Now, that would be revisiting the city of yore.

Huckleberry's quintet- Kim Pamintuan, Kenneth Villaluz, Chris Pamintuan, Tricie Arcenas & Vince Arcenas

Huckleberry’s grand opening in Davao was a very welcome one. No brass bands and second line dancing funky moves behind it, Huckleberry is one of those, I will say this is THE, place where the “working class” (sorry kids, no tugs-tugs tunes and twerking on this side of town) can hangout and let their “professional, hard at work hair” down, unwind and dine in a relaxing nook below the old heritage home of the Oboza’s, which is experiencing a complete turnaround. What was once a chic residential address has become a scene for stylish dining and watering hole.

Opening night spinmeister DJ Therese Garcia

A brainchild of Pamintuan cousins, Chris and Kim, a duo who have lost count on their adventures together as kids in the park to the adult playground, Huckleberry is one of their common ground. A fusion of ideas—one wanted a tavern and the other a restaurant, incorporated in a single stop with an end product where the food, spirits and vibe of the Southern kitchen and bar can be enjoyed.

Selfie with the Huck & Tom of Huckleberry

A third of the food selections lean toward the spicy side, such as the Nashville Hot Chicken Wings, Huevos Rancheros, and Barnyard Chili, Shrimp Jambalaya, which perfectly pairs with the bar offerings of “that’s stronger than new rope” (that’s Southern for “something is strong”) alcoholic potables—draft beer and handcrafted beers; the best spirits in the world not found anywhere else in the country (Monkey 47 Dry Gin, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Tequila Ocho, Tres Agaves, and Siete Leguas); curated cocktails by renowned New York- based mixologist, Enzo Lim (try the mildly sweetened Old Fashioned—Wild Turkey Bourbon, club soda, Angostura bitters and hint of orange; the refreshing Blood & Sand with sweet Vermouth, cherry heering, blended scotch whiskey, orange juice and red Kaong; and Hucklberry Mojitos made with the in-house infused rum); and a row of bottled rums infused with local Davao fruits.

The happiest table (& tummies) in the house on grand opening day.

Congratulations Huckleberry! As they say in the South, “laissez les bon temps roulez.” Yep, let the good times roll, baby.


For more lifestyle & travel stories, visit and

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 7, 2015.

Seen at Huckleberry on opening night:

Atty. Paul Montejo & Marijac Pamintuan

Cary Lagdameo, Atty. Mans Carpio, Chris Peralta, VM Paolo Duterte & Chris Pamintuan

Tala Tuparan, Jo-ann Pamintuan & Mia Pineda

Chris Pamintuan & Pierre Caladanz

Raffy & Carmina del Rosario

John Gross, Oca Rebosura, Jiggs Calixto, Adrian & Heidi Yao

TJ Pamintuan & Charmaine de Jong

Princess Marfori, Nikki Sering & Camille Porras

Evo & Sofie Bolipata

Kenneth Ong, Mitch Palcat & Wency Cornejo

Marga Rey & John Gross

Emilio Ho & Mariel Tonogbanua

Clark Yap, QUincy Quinones & Annie Arcenas

Tofi & Marissa Tiono

With my fave furniture designer Ann Pamintuan