Before and (Almost) After…


Things have been a bit slow on the blog over the past two weeks… if you only knew why… :) The management team and I have lost so much hair in the past few weeks I haven’t needed to get a haircut. Opening a new restaurant branch in Cebu/the Philippines (and probably elsewhere) is like a human giving birth to an elephant. We are several weeks behind schedule and rushing to open (soon) so that we will be able to serve participants and their friends to the annual Ironman Race in Cebu scheduled for August 3, 2014.


I could write a book about the experience (for the 6th or 7th time) but it would be too painful to recount. Suffice it to say you have to deal with things that could try the patience of even the calmest person on earth. Up top, one section of the dining room, some 3 months ago, just as we were bringing down walls, tiles, etc. The second photo is a couple of days ago…


…then yesterday or so. A clearer view of the new Zubudagat experimental “kinilaw” bar.


The “before” view of the bathroom…

marina mall wash area[1]

…and after (two wash sinks outside the bathroom which is handicapped compliant).


Before, in one corner of the dark bar that existed before we took the space…


After, we opened up the solid walls, added lots of glass to let the light in, and put in our service area in front of the kitchen…

marina mall dining[5]

…and lights in and being tested.


And today, the crew just fired up an indoor charcoal grill and it seems to be working. This means we are closer to a soft opening at the Marina Mall in Mactan (just two minutes from the airport and along the main route of the Ironman race) in a few days or so. Keep your fingers crossed that everything else falls into place soon. :)

Some photos in this post taken by RF, along with those by MM.

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41 Responses

  1. By the looks of it, you are right right on track! Much prayers going your way, and also to the new crew!!

  2. The place looks great! Congrats on finishing up the construction project and good luck with the openings!

  3. Wow! Looks like an episode of Restaurant Makeover. Very nice interior! Congratulations!

  4. I am praying for your continued success! God bless always and forever :)

    Ah construction. When we custom built our home Mar-Dec 2009, my husband and I almost went crazy dealing with contractors, so we said never again.

  5. It looks really nice, worth all the aggravations, whatever they were :) Congratulations! Another place to go to and more good food for people who love to eat!

  6. coolest! i always say our government makes it so hard to be a good citizen hereabouts, with a length of red tape that could take you all the way to the moon and back. but this looks so nice…can hardly wait to see it.

  7. Nice clean lines with that big punch of red!

    Congratulations and All the Best with this new feat!

  8. @Millet… i always say our government makes it so hard to be a good citizen hereabouts…

    Just consider the obstacles they make overseas workers jump through that cause forced hardship to our biggest earners of foreign exchange. It is unconscionable and malicious.

  9. MM, try watching Flipping Vegas on either the History or Bio channels and take refuge in the knowledge that the same delays, issues and headaches happens even in the US.

  10. Wishing you all the success that you so deserve! What a smart looking shop you got there,MM!

  11. Looks very promising. I am looking forward to the opening. Great looking interior! Awesome food I am sure.

  12. A lot of demolition have been made there. :) I hope I can visit one of your outlets in Cebu!

  13. congratulations. hope to visit the place when you open next week. Tri-athletes will arrive starting July 28th. :)

  14. Wishing you and your crew more success! I’m pretty sure all will work out well!

  15. HI Everyone, thanks so much for your kind wishes. Knee deep in it now, but we should hopefully be ready in a couple of days or so, if, as some have pointed out, the red tape is cleared… we are technically in an Export Processing Zone, so the requirements are even more stringent than usual (like having bars beside your urinal and toilet, in a bathroom which has to be big enough for a wheelchair to maneuver in), and exit signs (utterly hideous) above your glass EXIT doors, and a myriad of things like that…even though for some reason many of our neighbors don’t seem to have a lot of these things… But we are working hard to comply with it all… and final recipe testing/practice is going on… :)

  16. Congratulations MM and Zubuchon!

    That idea of a book on opening a resto promises to be a fun read!

  17. hope you will open a resto in Manila.. :( last time was in Cebu airport, there’s no avail lechon for takeout.. :(

  18. All the best in your new undertaking MM. I will now schedule my MNL-CEB flights to later in the morning so I can stop in Zubudagat before taking the fastcraft home.

  19. I’ve passed by the area just yesterday and it looks great! A far cry from the establishments in the area. Good luck!

  20. This is Restaurant Makeover material. So glad the resto will be operational when I visit… More branches to visit = more fun!

  21. Congrats MM! Can i ask if you designed the interiors of the restaurant? it looks great!

  22. Maya Franco did the architectural and overall design scheme, we stuck to the Zubu color palette of red/white/stainless steel and grey/black, we (Managers and I) picked the chairs, tables, lighting, etc. :)

  23. Congratulations ! I had been following you since 2005. I had seen you 2x in Makati. I dont know you personally but reading your blogs is like knowing you vicariously. How I wish you can have a branch here in Manila.

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