THE RESTAURANT that launched the careers of the band Aegis and dancer-turned-political pundit-turned-government official Margaux “Mocha” Uson is turning 24.
Cowboy Grill, with four locations around the metro (in Mabini, Malate, Las Piñas, and Quezon Ave.) was founded in 1994 by Golden Pizza, Inc., which brought the first franchise of Shakey’s Pizza in the Philippines (the pizza operations have since been sold). The restaurant made a name for itself by featuring performances during dinner by such acts as the Axe Band, J Brothers, Kooljacks, Moymoy Palaboy, and again, the band Aegis, which used to perform there as regulars and still does occasionally, and the Mocha Girls, the dancing girl group headed by Ms. Uson. (Ms. Uson has stopped performing due to her official duties, but the Mocha Girls have since branched out to include the Mocha Babes, a sort of junior group with younger dancers in training.)
“Saka lang naman sila lumabas outside, noong medyo nakikilala na si Mocha, and all [They started performing outside (our venues) only when Mocha started becoming famous],” said the restaurant chain’s marketing manager, Erickson Caper.
“Because of its large seating capacity, Cowboy Grill serves as a mini concert venue to many aspiring entertainment groups,” Bernie Pili, the operations manager, was quoted as saying in a press release. “As a matter of fact, a number of Pinoy bands started with us and we are very proud about it because it’s with us where they have nurtured their talents.”
The largest of the branches can seat 1,000 while the smallest can accommodate 300. The branches still host nightly band performances.
The restaurant’s name, it came up at a contest run by the then chairman — Leopoldo L. Prieto — during its founding. In Filipino slang, “cowboy” means somebody who isn’t fussy and high-maintenance.
To thank its loyal patrons, Cowboy Grill in celebration of its 24th anniversary is launching its 24@24 Promo.
“Cowboy Grill is enjoying the support and patronage of our customers. They are our motivation to be better in everything that we do, and they are the reason why we are still in the industry. To thank them for their loyalty for the past 24 years, we are offering our best 24 meals at P24,” said Mr. Caper. These include their pork sisig, calamares, fried chicken, buffalo wings, sizzling bulalo, gambas, and crispy pata.
The 24@24 Promo will run for 24 days starting May 19 until June 11. For every purchase of the Cowboy cocktail at P559, guests can order any dish in the list of 24 for P24.
Cowboy Grill now hosts functions, caters, and offers delivery of its Hot and Ready Meals through the Honest Bee app.
In the span of 24 years, the Philippines has seen food trends live, blossom, then die, only to repeat the cycle. When asked how Cowboy Grill still stands, Mr. Caper said in a mixture of English and Filipino, “We know how to go with the flow of the trends.” — JLG