Landmark Metro Manila music venue Route 196 has announced its closure after 15 years in operation.
The beloved bar and venue on Kapitunan Avenue in Quezon City, which had been home to many rising bands, left a parting note on Facebook on Sunday (August 23) saying it was “at the end of the road”.
In its statement, Route 196 did not give a specific reason for its permanent closure, though the venue had announced on March 16 that it would close due to the lockdown of the Philippines National Capital Region due to COVID-19. In June, the bar rolled out online food delivery.
Route 196’s farewell statement read: “We may be walking towards a different direction for now, but we wanted to make sure you had something to always remind you of our crazy ride together, the things we learned, the noise we made, the rules we broke, and the friends we picked up along the way.”
It added: “So here, take us with you in your next journey. And never forget that, for 15 years, all roads led to Route 196.”
See the post below:
Alas, we’re at the end of the road for Route 196.We may be walking towards a different direction for now, but we…
Route 196 has also unveiled a farewell t-shirt, designed by award-winning illustrator and comic creator Rob Cham. The shirt, which will be available for two weeks only from August 23, can be bought at PHP850 here. Proceeds from the shirts will help the venue’s employees, Route 196 said on Twitter.
See the shirt and Cham’s tribute to the venue below:
I had a lot of good memories at Route. Met a lot of good friends there, discovered new bands to love, got drunk and threw up somewhere as we all have. I love Route 196 and I kinda just wanted to show people what I miss about it.
Bye Route. I'll fucking miss you https://t.co/LVXQZWgOHD
— robcham (@robcham) August 23, 2020
Route 196 has asked gig-goers and artists to share their memories with the hashtags #ThankYouRote196 and #AllRoadsLeadtoRoute, or submit photos and videos to this Google Form, so that the venue may “stitch something to thank you and the rest of the community for keeping us going for 15 years”.
Read some tribute posts to Route 196 below:
Iba talaga yung Route. For so many musicians, it's where we honed our craft of performing. For many music lovers, it's where we found home. It never mattered if there were 3 people watching or 200, it always felt like home. You'll be missed, Route196. 😭
My first R196 gig, 2013. pic.twitter.com/dviKVPW2Tg
— Andrew De Pano (@andrewdepano) August 24, 2020
I hate life in this very moment. Route 196 was never perfect but it was in those imperfections that I learned a lot growing up as a musician.
I've played there with one person watching, I've played there with 300++ in the venue. It will forever be a home to me~ https://t.co/SMgrtsfPG0
— Beabadudebro (@Sentastic) August 23, 2020
— Lola Amour (@lolaamourmusic) August 24, 2020
That’s my photo of Route 196. 🥺
I’ve known about the news for days and I still cannot process.
Too many memories. I wouldn’t be the person you know now if not for the friends I met and milestones I’ve had in Route 196. 💔 https://t.co/SW67XbEYn2
— Bel Certeza (@belcerteza) August 23, 2020
Route 196 was our home. It was where we grew up—each show was its own universe of memories. A place of joy, heartbreak, and profound love. Our hearts go out to each and everyone of us who lost something immeasurable tonight. Ang sakit. pic.twitter.com/he6P2i4VCR
— The Rest Is Noise PH (@therestisnoise_) August 23, 2020