Cobonpue designs a bar that’s like an–enchanted forest | Inquirer Lifestyle

Cobonpue designs a bar that’s like an–enchanted forest

COBONPUE’S lighting helps define the Loft’s ambiance at night.


Grey Goose, the premium vodka from France and owned by Bacardi, has opened its first lounge bar in Cebu.


Guests at the Loft party and opening of Grey Goose lounge

It’s the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, designed by Kenneth Cobonpue. The local distributor commissioned him to renovate a dance club at The Loft in Asia Town I.T. Park into the Grey Goose Lounge.


“It’s like a sophisticated version of an enchanted forest,” said the designer. The walls and ceilings are covered with black mirrors for drama and give one a feeling of floating in a void.


THE LOFT’S main room: lights by Kenneth Cobonpue; furniture by Alex Medalla and Rachel Luym; main design by Alex Medalla

The design uses a lot of raw wood, timber and polished metal to bring out the contrast against the sleekness of Cobonpue’s signature Bloom bar stools (pleated flowers) in black leather. “They look like Bloom on a tripod,” said Cobonpue. “Flowers made of leather seem to come out of the walls.”


Candlelights flicker like fireflies in the forest. Because of all the mirrors, you get the feeling that there’s light above and all over,” said Cobonpue.


A custom-made swing, plus Chiquita stools, whose seats are made of rattan poles on a metal base, serve as accents.  Tables and seats are arranged in small islands for conversation. As the evening goes on, they are removed to open space for a dance hall. Marge C. Enriquez