Powder Keg blows its’ top…
by Ronnie Hoyle
THE FUSE has been burning so fast at the fêted Powder Keg on Alona Beach since
the doors first opened a year ago that local people wonder when the whole
building itself will blow up…or at least blow the patrons sideways into the road
and the adjoining lots.
What was planned as a ‘hobby-style’ ex-pats bar by its owner as a way to keep
busy during his third retirement has turned into a full-time business already
and has fast outgrown the intention of “just somewhere to drop in for a few
beers and a chat with fellow ex-pats living locally.”
Bruno and his wife, Marcy, planned the Powder Keg when they saw an empty
building and decided it was just what was needed to keep the old boy busy after
moving to Alona Beach for a taste of the quiet life following his second
retirement when he was involved with running a bar also called the Powder Keg at
Angeles on Luzon.
Within months of the bar opening the building started to need an extension.
First the kitchen and stockroom, then the dartboard area which moved to its’ own
newly-built room, and then the eating area which expanded when the feature tree
in the center of the room decided to give up the ghost and make way for more
tables…and some locals are still complaining that the area is too small!
“Hey!” says Bruno. “I only wanted a part-time hobby!”
Beginning to bulge at the seams on some nights, the ‘off the beach’ bar just
opposite the Alona Beach Entertainment Village can only blame one thing: it’s
the place where everyone wants to hang about from breakfast time until
throwing-out time in the evening.
So, what’s the reason? It’s the easy-going atmosphere of the place, brought
about in the main by Paul’s love of old-style country music and songs from the
days when he was probably a bit of a hell-raiser himself in the late 80’s after
leaving the US forces, if you listen to some of his stories and the
recollections of some of his friends who have found the bar!
Well, that and a few other things; it could also be due to Aussie John’s
delicious mango or apple pies for dessert (“Just like mum makes!”) and his
various home-made meat pies for the main course, as well as the contribution
which El Jeffe’s (“The Chief’s”) Mexican dishes make to compliment the menu that
started life with an offering of various thin-crust pizzas with toppings that
the owner himself liked…and the fact that the beer is probably the cheapest
Like everything, something had to start the quest for a new venture: it was
Paul’s love of pizza. He started making them at home for himself…then his
neighbours got to know what he was up to in the kitchen and wanted a few for
their own deep freeze. And then it just grew and grew and he began supplying
other places in the vicinity.
It did not take long before Marcy threw him out of the kitchen and told to find
his own place where he could cook a hundred or so pizzas every week and a few
gallons of chili con carne, plus the other foods that he found lacking on the
beach…like fish and chips with all the trimmings and easy-over eggs with ham
steak or sirloin beef steak for breakfast.
While the menu grew, the prices have stayed as easy as you please…everything is
well under 200 pesos. Now and again Paul even grabs members of his
rapidly-expanding Powder Keg Social Club and decides to go on a Sunday
island-hopping and picnicking tour around Panglao Island.
The menu still seems to expand daily, and now there are threats to bring in
inch-thick Australian beef for steaks to satisfy a growing appetite in the area.
What next…lamb and kangaroo stew? Now, don’t go and suggest that to Paul – he
might take you up on it and use you as the guinea pig!
Then you might be the one to explode! Gad – what a horrible thought!
Get more information
Cell phone (0920-739-0722)
About Panglao Island
The beautiful tropical island of Panglao. Clean air and un spoilt beaches. A
visit to Panglao is like stepping back in time. Explore and discover a lost
Island paradise. Panglao also offers world class diving facilities. Excellent
restaurants, Stunning panorama's, lush palm trees, hidden coves and private
beaches. And the people of Panglao are warm welcoming a friendly.
Paul is from the USA and his wife Mercy is from Carmen (Chocolate Hills) most
of the staff are Boholanos and speak Visian and Tagalog, don't worry they all
speak perfect English.