If you are a Cebuano, you most probably familiar with Cafe Laguna. You probably have visited and dined there. You probably have taken your dates and lovers as you enjoyed the ambience of the resto. You probably celebrated your birthday and other special occasions there. But do you know that there is more to Cafe Laguna than its delicious Filipino eatables?
Cafe Laguna is the premier restaurant of the Laguna Group, a family corporation that started from the vision and aspirations of its founder Mrs. Julita Urbina.
Here are the 25 things that you should know about the authentic Filipino restaurant as it celebrates its 25th anniversary on September 28.
- In 1979, Cafe Laguna begun with 10-table carinderia in the apartment where Lita Urbina (the owner) rented. It used to be Mother’s Best Food. But through the vision of the founder, it became an air-conditioned restaurant from an initial capital of Php300.00.
- In 1991, Cafe Laguna opened in Lahug with an air-conditioned cafe-style resto theme with Spanish-inspired facade.
- 1994: Cafe Laguna opened at Ayala Center Cebu.
- It constructed its own building beside Ayala Center Cebu in 1999 for Laguna Garden Cafe.
- During the groundbreaking ceremony of the construction of Laguna Garden Cafe, Jaime Zobel de Ayala graced the ceremony together with the Urbina family.
- Cafe Laguna characterizes home-cooked recipes.
- Cafe Laguna won two awards for being the cleanest restaurant in Cebu. In 2000, Cebu Medical Society, Inc. bestowed the restaurant with Award of Merit for being the Cleanest Restaurant. The restaurant also gained the same award in 2008.
- Cafe Laguna has seven branches in the Visayas and Mindanao; 4 in Cebu. It has franchised branches in Dumaguete, Cagayan de Oro, Davao and Ilo-ilo.
- Cafe Laguna’s menu is authentically Filipino.
- The owners, themselves, serve the guests/diners at Cafe Laguna in Ayala Branch.
- Waiters and Waitresses are there to celebrate with you on your special day.
- Cafe Laguna is a busy resto. It is always full which means it is a foodie paradise.
- Bright and cheerful interior is their signature atmosphere.
- In 1999, Cafe Laguna was awarded as the First Locator for Food category by Ayala Center Cebu.
- In 2002, during the Cebu Business Month, Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry awarded Mrs. Julita Urbina with Entrepreneur of the Year award.
- In 2004, Ayala Center Cebu awarded Cafe Laguna with Store Operations Excellence. The same award was bestowed in 2009.
- The Entrepreneur of the Year award from Ernst and Young was garnered for the Small Business Category. Mrs. Julita Urbina received the prestigious award at Makati Shangri-La.
- Perlas Awards, Philippines Foundation, Inc. awarded Mrs. Julita Urbina with Valuable Entrepreneur.
- Philippine Tatler Dining awarded Cafe Laguna as one of the Best Philippine Restaurants in the Philippines in 2004.
- In June 28, 2010, DTI & Phil. Retailers Association Outstanding Filipino Retailer in Cebu was presented to Cafe Laguna.
- In December of 2010, Cafe Laguna was again awarded with DTI & Phil. Retailers Association Outstanding Filipino Retailer but this time for the nationwide search.
- The Philippine Marketing Association of the Philippines presented Cafe Laguna with Agora Award.
- Cafe Laguna is famous for its puto bumbong, the best-seller in this restaurant, since its introduction in the menu at the first outlet.
- The restaurant is also famous for its pinakbet, bulalo and crispy pata that it gained accolades from Sooo Pinoy for having the best of these specialties.
- Cafe Laguna is a family-run restaurant under the Laguna Group of Companies. The Urbina family also operate Streetfood-inspired resto Ulli’s and Thai-Vietnamese-themed Lemon Grass restaurant.On the 28th September, it will hold a grand buffet to branches in Ayala Center Cebu, SM City Cebu and SM Seaside City Cebu. So be sure to have your stomachs full during lunch and/or dinner.
Grand Buffet is at Php499.00
So, yeah… Cafe Laguna is turning #BenteSingko.