FF Profile: Barkada Lounge
by Stephanie Fineza
photo credit: Katrina Fineza
video credit: Andre Griffiths
For many business owners, their greatest inspiration and support tend to come from the same place: family. The same goes for the talented cousin duo, Jason Tenorio and Randall Lazo. From humble beginnings to owning and operating one of the trendiest spots in New Jersey, these two gentlemen are exactly what Filipino Finder is all about.
Step through the doors of Barkada Lounge...
You’ll find a contemporary New York City-style bar and lounge with a chill, friendly vibe. The deejay is spinning some good music and the bartenders are mixing some stellar drinks—the perfect recipe for my Friday night. Running the show here at Barkada Lounge are the owners, Jason and Randall, who from the time we first met with them, made us feel like we've been friends for years—treated us like family.
It's apparent to me and the rest of FF, how their ability to build rapport with people as well as their genuine want for those around them to just have a good time translates well to their business. On an average night, Barkada Lounge is packed—happy patrons, smiling faces, flowing drinks...and to think, this is all here in Jersey.
Jason and Randall's partnership is the perfect blend of each of their passions. Jason, whose love of food stems from his younger years, always wanted to own his own kitchen. Telling us of his culinary background, he reminisces of the many times he spent as a boy helping his mother with her catering business.
"Food was always a big thing for me," Jason says. He continues with a laugh, "...and I love to eat."
Jason will really be able to flex his cooking prowess when they renovate the outdoor space of Barkada Lounge. He explains that they plan to have a food truck set up and will design the menu with Filipino-inspired dishes. The debut date has not been set but they are excited at the prospect of continuing to innovate their nightlife business.
Randall talks about how he always wanted to own a club. He imagined a place where people could come dance and truly have a good time. Barkada Lounge is his dream come true.
Randall describes the excitement, "It's still...shocking every night we close up. It's like this place is [actually] ours."
He explains how him and Jason could not have done this business venture alone. Since running and owning a business is certainly expensive, they were fortunate enough to find investors who he also refers to as their close friends.
We ask if Randall has any advice to others planning on doing their own business venture. He says intently,
"Do your research...Do your research because it takes a lot. [It takes] a lot of sweat, a lot of hard work, a lot of running around, a lot of networking. You got to know what you're getting into. To be successful, you got to know the ins, the outs... everything."
Check them out!
503 Van Houten Avenue
Passaic, NJ 07055