History

A long history of successful bars and restaurants from Saigon in the Vietnam War, moving to Angeles City in the 1970's.  Probably the oldest surviving expat place in the Philippines!  Drop by and find out from the horse's mouth what Angeles was like in the roaring US Vietnam Era!
 
Wars, Coups, Typhoons, Earthquakes, Volcanic Eruptions - we never closed!
 
 
Me and Joe C Bogo from his blog Wandering Blindly
 
 

Establishment

Location

Year

“Soul Kitchen”

Saigon, Vietnam.

1968 - 69

“D’ Darling’s Place”

Angeles City, Philippines

1972 - 77

“D’ Astro Park Roof Garden” 

Angeles City, Philippines

1973 - 77

“New Birth Disco”    

The 1st “Black” disco in Angeles

Angeles City, Philippines

1975 - 77

“D’ Sunset Grove Cocktail Lounge & Soul Food Restaurant”

I sold other businesses when I retired from the U.S. Airforce after serving 17 years 3 months of Honorable Service without any retirement benefits or pension on March 23, 1977.

Angeles City, Philippines

1976 - 79

“Pesonality Cocktail Lounge”

Changed name to Friends & Strangers 1980

Angeles City, Philippines

1979 - 80

“Friends and Strangers Cocktail Lounge & Soul Food Restaurant”

Angeles City,  Olongapo, & Barrio Barretto, Subic Bay, Philippines

1980 - 89

“D’ Full House Cocktail Lounge & 

  Soul Food Restaurant”

Angeles City, Philippines

1989 - 99

“Rodman’s Burger Stand”

Angeles City, Philippines

1999 - 2004

“R & R Soul Food Restaurant”

Angeles City, Philippines

2004 - 2006

“Rodman’s Rainbow Burger”

Angeles City, Philippines

2006 -

The Soul Kitchen, Saigon, Vietnam 

This is from page 169 from the book “BLOODS” written by the famous, black writer - the late - Alex Haley, who used to eat at my restaurant “Soul Kitchen” in Saigon back in 1968-69. 

I got so I enjoyed the city of Saigon.  The real difficulties cam mostly after curfew, when the Vietnamese Police who we called “White Mice”, the M.P.s, and our group were the only ones allowed on the city streets.

The guys in our outfit went to a club on Tu Doo Street (The Street of Flowers). We called it our club.  Being favourite customers, we were accustomed to getting more than the normal favors from the proprietor, which meant “girls”.

Not too far from the Main Gate of Tan Son Nhut Airbase was a “Soul Alley”, where you could find Cambodian girls in bars who could readily pass for Black American females.  And, in the same area was a soul food restaurant named at the time “Soul Kitchen” which was owned and operated by the is tall Black Soul Brother Staff Sergeant who’s last name was “Rodman” from Memphis serving in the Air Force, and was stationed at Tan Shu Nut Air Base in Saigon, Vietnam from June 1968 to July 1969.  I later learned that Sergeant Rodman was married to a cute, sorta tall French/Vietnamese named Lyn from Saigon, who was the cashier and head waitress at the restaurant.

  With a retired Black Merchant Marine cook, there you could get Soul Food that tasted like back home.  Chittlins, Smoked Ham Hocks, Pigs Feet, Pigs Ears, BBQ Ribs, Hot Links, Southern Fried Chicken, Pork Chops and Fish.  He even served “Fillet of Soul Fish”, Salisbury Steak with brown gravy, naturally Homemade Corn Bread (not that Jiffy from the box stuff!).  Vegetables consisted of Greens, Black Eyed Peas, Mashed Potatoes with Gravy or Butter, Macaroni & Cheese, Sage Dressing, Bowls of Red Beans, Rice with Gravy or butter, Greens, Black Eye Peas with Ham Hocks and Corn Bread, and…the works.

Being in Saigon was just like being back down South, and eating from one of those Good Old Soul Food Restaurants.  Believe this or not, but “Soul Kitchen” was so busy, that two people would have to come out before two could go inside, and this was all day until closing time!

Back then, soldiers didn’t give a damn about money, after all, they didn’t know it they would be alive the next day to spend it.

Eating in “Soul Kitchen” was as if you weren’t nowhere near a War Zone, until the shells and bombs came in on your ass."

 

GET A COPY OF THIS UNBELIEVABLE BOOK, YOU WON’T BELIEVE IT, BUT IT WAS ALL REAL!

 

Me in Saigon, doing a little sandbagging!
 
 
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