Imagine sharing a building and living together with your friends—a college dorm, if you will. Whenever there’s a weekend bash, one room is responsible for the drinks, another loads the pizza, while another blasts the music; in essence, this togetherness in the name of community spirit and straight-up fun is what ROW 9, a creative and office compound in Blok M, is all about.
Headed by Albie Trisura, the former banker gives life to the old four-storey office building located at the turn of Bulungan 9 street by gathering local brands from F&B joints to fashion retail into the space. Giving the stage for these businesses to create their own story at ROW 9, each of their presence draws a diverse crowd and brings an energy that matches the cultural neighbourhood.
The consistently packed Suasanakopi sees young professionals settling in to get some work done with caffeine fuel; the buzzing Pot Boy Aru surprises with its Asian fusion fare and spunky cocktails; the unfussy dining at Lucky Chin’s sees generously-portioned American Chinese fast food in a buffet-style setting; while Plunge Pizza grabs attention with their sourdough pizzas and sandwiches, intriguing comers with their play of flavours. There are also Manadonese canteen-style Dapoer Poelekoken and Paris Sorbet’s lineup of artisanal desserts.
Between these culinary joints is the addition of a music production studio, Studio Satu, and the showroom of Drunk Dad and Friends, which carries the eponymous fashion brand of everyday, versatile wear alongside curated lifestyle pieces.
Since opening early this year, ROW 9 has been raising excitement and pulling foot traffic through an array of event activations between tenants and beyond, from a menu collab between Pot Boy Aru and Plunge Pizza to hosting pop-up stores and thrift markets at their multifunctional space on the third floor.
This collaborative spirit extends to the way ROW 9 runs on a daily basis, and it seems natural to see tenants checking in on each other much like a friend would. Whether in the form of collaboration or just simply helping out a ‘neighbour’, ROW 9 explores what it means to be a lifestyle compound by thriving off of the uniqueness of each brand and bringing them together.