Updated: Jul 6, 2019
With a vision towards locally-sourced, eco-friendly, and sustainable merchandise; the Open House community showroom opens its first store above El Union Coffee
After a year of conceptualizing, planning, and small pop-up events, Open House unveiled its first brick-and-mortar store. Located above El Union Coffee, this community showroom becomes the latest addition to a place simply referred to as “Great North.” To mark the occasion, Open House threw a party befitting the vibe of surf town’s premiere hipster view deck.
With simultaneous events both inside and outside the Open House shop, the festivities featured live music, oracle and tarot readings, body massages, crafting workshops, and more. Refreshments were sourced from some of the most well-known local food establishments in surf town: A Lotta and Barefoot Bakers provided longganisa sliders, Saboroso came with chicken inasal skewers, and Papa Bear Asian Smokehouse offered a variety of tacos. We could tell that everyone loved the food, so much so that everything was gone in less than an hour. No kidding.
The Shrine of Satisfaction graciously provided their open-air cocktail lounge as the ideal setting for intimate musical performance. Their cocktails, especially the gin and tonics, are the perfect accent to La Union’s warm and humid weather. There was also a selection of locally produced ube wine, which is a specialty of Brgy. Abut. Though classified as a wine, it’s more akin to a wine cooler. Served with copious amounts of ice, all complimentary drinks were definitely consumed.
Guests were treated to the one-man guitar and harmonica stylings of San Juan’s very own, Ian King, to open the musical entertainment. A musician by trade in his native Australia, Ian’s solo act wowed the audience with a Bob Dylan-esque ditty to close his hour-long set. Ian’s performance was immediately followed by jazz guitar-and-keyboard duo, Station Wow. Regularly playing in Manila’s local jazz scene, you can follow their link on Soundcloud for a sample of their music.
Within Open House, the store itself was a beehive of activity. Movement artist Mara Andres, a yoga therapist and enhanced Hatha yoga instructor showed another facet of herself by conducting reiki healing sessions as well as tarot card readings. Alongside Mara, La Union local massage therapist, Simonette Follante, aka, Big Mama, provided soothing upper and lower body massages. Expect to see more of Mara and Big Mama at the Open House community store for future mind and body wellness offerings.
Opening night was a great success if only for the vast amount of positive energy and good vibrations from everyone present. All this would not have been possible, however, without the time and effort put forth by everyone working behind the scene. By sharing their creativity, skills, time and knowledge, they’ve shown us the essence of what entices people from all over to feel very much at home whenever they’re in San Juan, La Union.
The same spirit drives Open House community showroom in curating all products and services that we offer. So if you’re looking to buy something meaningful the next time you’re in town; the souvenir store above the coffee shop might just have it for you.