It’s not the Shire and there are no wizards in sight but The Hobbit House in Manila is a good place to relax, have a drink and get a bite to eat. There are bars and music venues all over the Philippines. Manila has scores of places to listen to great music and have a few drinks however The Hobbit House is a little different.
Since 1973 when a former Peace Corp volunteer and college professor opened the bar it has been staffed with nothing but “little people”. Jim Turner found his inspiration for the bar in J.R.R. Tolkiens books and discovered a way to employ and help Manila’s little people be financially independent.
With a rich history of being the gathering place for artists, expats and tourists alike the Hobbit House has been the home of some great local music throughout the years.
Located at 12 M.H. Del Pilar Street in Ermita the bar opens at 5pm. The day I visited I had somewhere to go later that evening so I managed to stop by when the place opened. Since nobody ventures out much until 9 or 10 in the evening I had the place pretty much to myself as I looked around.
The bar offers local beers and a wide range of imported beers from various regions in the world and has a pretty good variety of food. I noticed a good many imported foods on the menu.
A stage is prominently located at one end of the bar and depending on when you visit there might be a local music legend or two playing.
Before you run off and check Trip Advisor reviews, I too looked at them. With a wide range of reviews from terrible to terrific the Hobbit House in Manila ranks in the 80’s out of over 500 places listed. I would suggest if you’re in the area, a few hours spent at the bar would prove to be a memorable experience.