5 Things to Love About 55Square Cafe

This new café in Katipunan has a few things to teach you about coffee, art appreciation, and community

Photography: Tala Singson

“I just wanted a space [where people can] share coffee and knowledge, enjoy coffee, have conversations over coffee, 'yun yung vision ko talaga, says Kit Singson, one of the owners of the newly opened hangout along Katipunan Avenue. “Kasi we are championing Filipino coffee kasi sobrang laki ng potential niya. We source our beans from Bukidnon and Cordillera.”

This champion of the small scale producer of superb coffee beans shares space and vision with Vongarde Art Gallery. “The vision is to help small people, start up, and scale up. Ganoon din yung gallery eh. I came from commercial galleries catering to masters," explains Dan Villacruel, gallerist of Vongarde Art Gallery and also a partner in the café. “Artist din ako. And nakita ko yung struggle nung artist na naka-akyat ng gallery level so I wanted to share my knowledge regarding the market, collectors, how to scale up from being a start up na artist. Ito yung space for artists na nagsa-start pa lang."

Tala Singson, the interior designer amongst the three, was the one tasked to make the space work as a cafe and an art gallery. “It's a cafe and a gallery and I have to consider both sides. So wala lahat na walls, wala akong nilagay. When it comes to ornaments or décor, it's minimal. Para hindi ma take-away yung eyes dun sa mga pieces.” 

Can't wait to visit soon? Here are some of the reasons why the two-in-one concept works and what we love most about it:

The bare walls make the art pieces stand out.

“We wanted the space to look very raw, unfinished. Para yung contrast nya sa art—maganda. It would really showcase the art pieces and the coffee,” says Tala.

The minimal accessories add to the laid-back feel of the cafe/gallery.

“Like yung mga centerpiece, low lang sila, para hindi matakpan yung artwork. Yung couch, maliit lang sya. Para yung wall space andyan pa rin, para ma-appreciate pa rin yung art. “ 

The hints of color on the floor and in the kitchen keep the place from feeling cave-like.

Lahat ng furniture and yung walls and lights, walang color except sa floor kasi si Kit gusto ng pop of color. Besides sa floor, walang color lahat. Para sa artwork yung color.”

Rows of screws underneath the beam line hold and showcase the works of art.

For the art gallery to hang its pieces perfectly on the wall, Tala decided to create a hanging rail system that works with the café’s industrial look with the use of screws.

Black grout makes the kitchen unique and interesting.

Some might shy away from using black grout for a number of reasons—why would you use it if it looks like grime? In the case of 55Square Cafe, it adds spice to the place as well as help highlight the light tiles and art on the wall.

55Square Café is located at G/F ALCAL Bldg. 285 Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City. For inquiries, you can email them at hi.55squarecafe[at] For Vongarde Art Gallery, you can send messages through e-mail at vongardeartgallery[at]

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