On any given pre-COVID night out in Cape Town, there is a near guarantee that someone has drunkenly suggested making a trip to The Manila Bar for some ear-piercingly bad (and sometimes good) karaoke.

Unfortunately, just as residents of the Mother City seem to be getting back into the swing of things, this will no longer be possible. The iconic karaoke bar has announced it will no longer operate for business.

“Unfortunately due to COVID-19, our venue as it stands will be closed for good. We’d like to thank our loyal patrons for supporting us throughout all these years. You have all been rockstars!” the bar said via Facebook. “Please do not stop singing! Sing in the shower… have a concert with your pet…or perform a duet with your loved one. Do keep safe. We will miss you. Until we meet again!”

Patrons of the karaoke bar were upset to hear the news, with many thanking the Manila Bar team for the great memories in the comments section.

“Such sad news, always had the best time. Thanks for the memories and good luck!!” one social media user commented.

“The few times I have been here it was always such a hoot – filled with laughs and good times! Thanks for the memories and best of luck management and staff on your next chapter!” another said.

“Our youth is being erased. It’s like Assembly closing 2.0,” another commented.

Picture: Manila Bar/Facebook

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Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.