The Indonesian bar scene is a thriving phenomenon, particularly in Jakarta, where there are many different types and styles. Some are even dedicated to serving alcohol, while others cater to a more diverse crowd. Most are a combination of Wi-Fi hotspot, social hub, and restaurant, with occasional alcohol-only sections. As nighttime approaches, however, many of these establishments transform into nightclubs.
The controversy sparked a backlash on social media, with conservative Islamic groups accusing management of disrespecting the Prophet Muhammad. In response, the bar apologised for the promotion, which it said was unintentional and meant to boost sales. However, critics say the incident has undermined Indonesia’s reputation for tolerance.
The Menteng Beer Garden is an extremely popular bar in Jakarta, with live music and cheap drinks. It is also one of the best bars in Indonesia for backpackers. Another excellent choice for a night out is the Greyhound Cafe, which is part of the Arena group, which also owns Penang Bistro and Seribu Rasa. The venue is located in the Grand Indonesia, and is ideal for a date night or daytime gathering.
Another great place for a night out is The Cocktail Club, which opened in the Senopati district in Jakarta in 2021. Its veteran bartending team has come up with an exciting menu using local ingredients to create unique drinks. The menu includes the Batavia Milk Punch, which is made using distilled palm tree sap. Other offerings include strawberry liqueur, gin, and cacao cream.