Beloved Filipino restaurant reopens on Upper East Side, NYC
 
 
 
 
 
 

Beloved Filipino restaurant in NYC reopens with fresh vibe

Owned by frontline nurses who saw the lack of Filipino restaurants on Upper East Side, the original food spot is moving to its new home 
/ 08:17 PM June 04, 2024

Beloved Filipino restaurant in NYC reopens with fresh vibe

Photo from bilaonyc/Instagram

Upper East Side’s Filipino gem is set to shine again, proving that when one door closes, another one opens. Beloved Filipino restaurant Bilao is set to reopen in its new home.

January saw the unexpected closure of Bilao, much to the dismay of its loyal patrons. But fret no more and say hello to Sugba (grill or roast in Tagalog). 

The restaurant recently confirmed its return in an Instagram post, saying, “Bringing the Filipino food back (to the) UES! Stay tuned!”

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Sugba is slated to open its doors at 1425 York Avenue, nestled between East 75th and 76th streets. The exact opening date has yet to be announced.

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A post shared by BILAO NYC (@bilaonyc)

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A promise of authentic Filipino flavors in NYC

More details are yet to come, but restaurant owners have promised to continue Bilao’s legacy of serving up authentic Filipino cuisine. 

Behind this legacy are three frontline nurses at Mount Sinai Hospital: Marie Dinopol, Jude Canela and Joel Calanog, who missed the comforting flavors of home. 

Witnessing the lack of Filipino restaurants in the area, the trio launched Bilao during the pandemic to bring authentic Filipino flavors to the Upper East Side.

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Nostalgic home-cooked meals, like tapsilog (fried tapa with egg and fried rice), longsilog (sweet sausage with egg and fried rice) and Kare Kare (tripe and oxtail stewed in peanut sauce) quickly became favorites among the customers, including Filipino nurses and local residents.

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A post shared by BILAO NYC (@bilaonyc)

“We wanted to serve the food we grew up eating,” Canela told Patch. 

Bilao’s charm stands true in its ability to connect with the community, particularly healthcare workers from Mount Sinai, Lenox Hill and Weill Cornell.

With many of its customers working night shifts, this Filipino restaurant in NYC opens early, catering to their schedules.

Whenever we get off from shifts, we are really hungry because the days are dinnertime,” said Canela.

The owners launched their business in 2020 with a clear vision: to provide authentic Filipino comfort food, extend their service to the Upper East Side and create career opportunities.

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A post shared by BILAO NYC (@bilaonyc)

Meanwhile, as patrons eagerly await Sugba’s debut, they’re hoping to see some of their favorites from Bilao, like the chicharong bulaklak, chopseuy (loaded with vegetables, quail eggs and meat) on the menu. 

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A post shared by BILAO NYC (@bilaonyc)

Their Boodle Fight meals, kamayan style, were a hit. Who could say no to delicious Pinoy food spread out on banana leaves? No one.

For updates on the opening of Sugba, follow them on social media.

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TAGS: Filipino American businesses, Filipino food, New York, Trending
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