Cover Elbert’s Upstairs has become a frequent haunt for the post-work crowd in search for a quiet place to drink

Swanky speakeasy Elbert’s Upstairs beckons patrons to drink, dine, and converse freely in a plush and elegant setting

The idea of Elbert’s Upstairs began with the acquisition of a two-level space for Mendokoro Ramenba in BGC. Because a mezzanine level was not ideal for a ramen establishment, restaurateur Elbert Cuenca thought to put up a speakeasy. Inspired by British furniture brand Timothy Oulton, the space is sophisticated yet cosy, with interiors done in warm wood and gold, and furnished with tufted chairs and plush carpeting. Drink offerings are on the traditional side, but patrons are spoilt for choice due to the variety of noncommercial craft spirits Cuenca stocks his bar with. “When you walk up the stairs, you have no idea what you’re going to find,” says Cuenca. “The bar is like an oasis in the desert for people that seek an elegant, subtle approach to night life. And Elbert’s Upstairs is here to provide that atmosphere.”


The president and CEO of Steak Room Concepts has worked in the restaurant and tech industries, with a wealth of almost 25 years of experience in both areas. Elbert Cuenca’s cocktail of choice at any establishment is the Old Fashioned, which also serves as his benchmark for discerning drink quality.

  • PhotographyMon Mangila