Have you been to Fort Entertainment Complex lately? If not, here is an update.
We wrote about the earliest years of this place in an article in 2015. The buildings that existed then are still here, but the occupants have changed a lot.
Let us start with the building that is called The Fort Street. It is a 3-storey building that has a big sign that says "The Fort Street" (the old sign was "Fort Strip") outside. It used to house a big fitness gym on its second floor, called Fitness First. Well, that space is now occupied by a new comer called "Fitness Army". It is about half the size of the previous gym, and the main feature of this gym is a set of cages that are designed for training for obstacle course competitions.
The second floor still has a MTV shop, but it looks quite different from the previous MTV shop called Family MTV. This one is called Hidden Singer. But the busiest establishment on a recent Sunday night is a new restaurant called Daraejung Korean Kitchen. A throng of customers were there cooking their own hotpot, and there were water tanks holding live seafood inside.
Photo above: the new gym in Fort Street.
No more is the coworking space called A_Space.
At the ground floor of The Fort Street, new establishments that you can find are Nitro 7 Coffee, a Korean convenience store, and a Taiwanese milk tea place called Monkey Tea. A local restaurant that specializes in pork ribs, RACKS, is still there, and so is Caffe Puccini, an Italian restaurant that was there from the beginning of this building. The only bars left there are Cable Car and Beer and Chicken.
A dentist clinic and a gadget shop now exist at the ground floor as well.
Photo above: new Korean restaurant at 2nd floor of Fort Street.
Fort Pointe II Building, a 4-storey building that faces Fort Strip, now has a kitchen showroom called Hacker (or "Haecker"), which used to be occupied by a dance club called URBN. Another club, Voodoo, at the ground floor, is replaced by a Korean hair salon. Puzzles Games Lounge and Restaurant has shuttered it doors. In its place is a Chinese restaurant. Holding out is The Early Breakfast Club.
Between the Fort Street and Fort Pointe II Building is another 3-storey building, Fort Pointe, which was the third building that was completed in this complex. The Japanese restaurant Tateyama, which specializes in grilled meat, has been on the second floor of that building for over three years. However, the local restaurant below it has just closed. The place now has a tarpaulin that says Romantic Island Gastropub. Club Lounge.
The largest structure in the complex is the Fort Strip, a long building that starts from Ogawa Japanese Restaurant, K-Pub BBQ (with its bright lit wall), Aracama Restaurant at the 5th Avenue, and ends at 26th Street with Rico Lechon Restaurant, which occupies the space of Gourdo's kitchen accessories before. The structure has a tower that has a sign that reads "The Fort at BGC". In between, there are many restaurants, but the newest one is a Chinese BBQ restaurant called Wow Cow BBQ.
Photo above: a new Chinese bbq restaurant at the Fort Strip occupies the space of a former burger shop called Boutique Burger Kitchen.
While many night clubs at the Fort Entertainment Complex have disappeared (Privé Luxury Club, Imperial Ice Bar, Hideout Manila|Club Haze?), Nectar Nightclub is still humming along, providing a clubbing venue for a broad spectrum of clients.
The longest serving restaurant on that strip is another Italian restaurant, L'Opera Ristorante Italiano.
Photo above of Fort Entertainment Complex was taken in April 2018
The Future is Never Certain
The Fort Entertainment Complex is nearly 20 years old. In 2019, you can find more Korean and Chinese restaurants there than ever before, and fewer night clubs, while the plan to redevelop the whole plot into blocks of high rise corporate and residential buildings is always looming in the horizon. Who knows what this place will look like in another four years?