A trip to the Philippines’ resort town Baguio City wouldn’t be complete without a stopover at the famed Cafe by the Ruins. And now, more than a year after it was destroyed by a fire, the restaurant is officially open to the public once again.
The cafe, which opened in 1988, is known for its comfort food and rustic vibe — way before hipsters and avid Pinterest users made it cool. The “ruins” it is referring to is the previous site of the city’s first garden theater.
The location again became a ruins site when it was gutted after catching fire in April last year.
While there were people eating in the restaurant when the fire started, no customers were hurt.
According to the fire department, the fire may have started when ironworks or a cigarette butt from a nearby construction site hit the establishment’s roof made out of cogon, a type of grass commonly used in traditional Filipino houses called Bahay Kubo (Nipa hut).
This is how the cafe looked before the fire:
While this is how it looked after:
Does anyone have first hand video footage or photographs that may help us with the investigation of the fire at Cafe by the Ruins on April 30th? It would be of great assistance to us if you came forward and provided us with documentation and a statement. If you are willing, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or a message through this account. We want to thank our friends and customers for the incredible amount of love, kind words and memories that you have shared with us via our social media accounts. We have read and seen them all and we just wanted to say, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. ❤️ #cafebytheruins
Videos of the fire were also shared on social media.
All that is in the past, though, now that Cafe by the Ruins has risen from the ashes.
Now, regulars and tourists alike can once again enjoy merienda (snack) favorites like champorado (chocolate rice porridge) and the Ruins Coffee made with cardamom, cinnamon, and whipped cream.
For those who have never been, Baguio, where the cafe is located, is a city located in the Northern Luzon highland province of Benguet, about a 5-hour drive away from Manila.
It typically has cooler weather than the rest of the Philippines and sometimes even experiences hail storms.