Now that Ramadan is over, Jakarta’s nightlife is back in full swing! The capitol’s drinking scene has seen a lot of new trends emerge recently, so we’re getting you up to speed with a round up of the coolest new places in the city.
The shutdown of Stadium, the city’s most infamous nightclub, clears the way for a classier kind of nightlife in North Jakarta’s Kota district. The best new club spot in the area (and some would argue, the whole city) is Colosseum, located in the 1001 Hotel and just a short walk from Fatahillah Square. The huge main club area encompasses 1,000 square meters and features 16-meter-tall ceilings. But what truly impresses about Colosseum is the unbelievable light system, featuring more lasers than all six Star Wars movies combined. Crafted by lighting engineers who worked on the illumination at some of Ibiza’s hottest clubs, it’s truly worth checking out even if you’re not into the club scene. Music is primarily EDM and dubstep, but live performances from big-name local bands and singers happen here often as well.
Colosseum, 1001 Hotel, Jl. Kunir No.7, Kota, North Jakarta, p: 62-822-7000-1001. Hours: Weds-Sat 9:30pm-5am.
While Colosseum is the new king of clubs to the north, Empirica is the hottest new venue in the city’s south. Located in SCBD, which has quickly become the new focal point for upscale nightlife in Jakarta (thanks to the likes of Potato Head Garage, Fable, and Lucy in the Sky) Empirica exudes exclusivity, but luckily features, what they claim to be, the longest bar in Asia. Even at peak capacity, you shouldn’t have to fight too hard to find a spot along its 38 meters of drink-dispensing counter space.
Empirica, SCBD Lot 8 Hall A, Jl. Jendral Sudirman Kav 52-53, SCBD, South Jakarta, p: 62-21/5140-0388. Hours: Weds-Sat 9pm-3am.
Wondrous whiskey bars
Nip & Dram
The growing sophistication of Jakarta’s drinking culture has expanded beyond faddish cocktails to a widening appreciation for high-quality liquors such as fine whiskeys. One of the top places in town for whiskey connoisseurs is Nip & Dram, a sleek sexy venue with the intimate charms of a speakeasy. Nip & Dram has one of the city’s best selections of single-malt whiskeys, the rarest of which the Dram’s discerning owners select themselves in Scotland. Instead of loud club anthems, live music acts like pianists and jazz bands keep things classy.
Nip & Dram, The Landmark Centre II, Jl. Jend. Sudirman no. 1, p: 62-21/5790-3991. Hours: Mon-Sun 5pm-12am.
The recently opened Artoz Bar is from the same people behind Amuz, one of Jakarta’s most highly regarded French restaurants. With a pedigree like that, you would expect Artoz to be as rigorous in its approach to fine liquors as its sister establishment is about gastronomy – and you won’t be disappointed! In fact, Artoz claims to have the city’s largest selection of whiskies and cognacs. It also features frequent live jazz music performances. One of Artoz’s other draws is that you can order gourmet bar bites from Amuz, which is located right next door.
Artoz Bar. Energy Building, 2nd Floor, Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 52-53, SCBD, South Jakarta, p: 62-21/2995-9050. Hours: Mon-Sun 6pm-midnight.
Mega Kuningan’s hip new houses
Mega Kuningan’s Loewy has long been the swanky business district’s bar to see and be seen, but Bau-Haus 1933 has stolen some of the old stalwarts thunder. Built by the same group behind Lucy in the Sky, Bau-Haus takes that venue’s rooftop charms and brings them underground. Located in the basement of the East Building, Bau-Haus features interesting décor, mixing bohemian art references with a gothic look, a fitting combination given that it is named after the iconic German design school. While the setting is eclectic, the back-lit bar is the true work of art and the barmen and barwomen manning it are capable of crafting some seriously excellent cocktails. Bau-Haus is generally low-key, but can get quite lively during live DJ events that often take place on weekends.
Bau-Haus 1933, The East Plaza, Jl. Dr Ide Anak Agung Gde Agung, Mega Kuningan Kax E3 No.1, Kuningan, South Jakarta. p: 62-21/2952-7173, Hours: Mon-Fri: 11am-1am, Fri-Sat: 11am-3am, Sun 11am-1am.
Not just a bar and club, but also a restaurant and a designer sneaker show room, The Safehouse is the sort of hipster mishmash you’d expect to find in indie-enclaves like Kemang or Panglima Polim, but it adds a welcome wrinkle to Mega Kuningan’s posh veneer. By day, The Safehouse serves up food (including excellent sandwiches) from Italian chef Tommaso Gonfiantini and sells sneakers from couture kicks label SOMEARETHEIVES Some (thus the name Safehouse). By night, The Safehouse’s cool black-and-white venue can get crowded with high-class hipsters dancing to energetic EDM beats.
The Safehouse, Lobby Level, Bellagio Mansion, Lingkaran Mega Kuningan, Kuningan, South Jakarta. p: 62-21/3005-0510, Hours: Mon-Thu: 11am-1am, Fri-Sat: 11am-3am, Sun: 11am-1pm.
Cloud Lounge & Living Room
In a city like Jakarta, where the heat and humidity keep most of us trapped in air-conditioning all day long, al fresco F&B venues can be a refreshing. Given that, it’s no wonder that rooftop bars are all the rage these days in Jakarta. Cloud Lounge & Living Room, located on the of The Plaza office building is probably the new leader amongst Jakarta’s rooftop bars, offering a view just as spectacular as neighbouring Skye’s but with a feel that is more opulent and exclusive than its main competitor. Located above the posh Altitude restaurant complex, Cloud features similarly slick digs, with sharp geometric lines, gleaming wood surfaces and a split-level lounge offering one of the best views of the sunset in all of Jakarta.
Cloud Lounge & Living Room, The Plaza, 46th floor, Altitude, Jl. MH Thamrin, CBD, Central Jakarta. p: 62-21/2992-2450, Hours: Sun-Thu 4pm-1am, Fri-Sat: 4pm-2am.
A fun rooftop bar that’s a little more down-to-earth, Awan Lounge may not offer quite as breathtaking a view from its ninth floor location as its high-rise brethren, but it makes up for that with a laid-back vibe that is more inviting and less pretentious (and the view is still pretty great too!). Located atop the uber-hip Kosenda Hotel boutique hotel, the Awan Lounge is a bit of a hidden gem (you take the lift to the eighth floor and then climb some stairs to get to the venue), but once you see its cool setup, with colourful furniture set amidst vibrant greenery, you’ll be happy you made the trip.
Awan Lounge, Kosenda Hotel, Jalan K.H. Wahid Hasyim No.127, CBD, Central Jakarta. p: 62-21/3193-6868, Hours: Mon-Fri 5pm-1am, Sat-Sun: 5pm-2am.
Top image: Colosseum