RIP Bali Hai? How Closed is The Club?

I had a meeting in Mampang yesterday, so went there via Blok M, catching the kopaja 57 – or was it the metro-mini 75? They both go there, and I got one of them out, then the other back.

Having done what was required of me on Jalan Kapt. Tendean, I felt peckish, so descended to the Jaly Jaly, beneath Blok M Terminal, where a plate of tasty nasi goreng and an iced tea cost me less than Rp.20,000.



I’d arranged to meet some former colleagues for a tea-time pint, but, with time to kill, I thought I’d take a stroll around the notorious Falatehan area, which is always  a bit wierd in day-light, like a sleeping vampire awaiting night-fall.

Nothing of interest in the Street of Dreams itself, but going round the block, I was stunned to see that some sort of building project is under way where once the anonymous doors of The Club stood challengingly.


That’s it, or was, by that white block


AKA the Bali Hai bar, The Club was arguably the dingiest, and sleaziest, bar in the neighbourhood, which in the context of Blok M is saying a lot.

How long it had existed there, I don’t know, but it was already a legend when I arrived in Jakarta in the last millenium.

More than a few of us have had (mis-)adventures there, and I mourn its passing – if it has passed. I enquired of one of the idlers who haunt that part of town, but he seemed uncertain – they usually do!

Do any readers know if the old place is truly gone forever, or may it yet re-emerge in some new and shiny incarnation? Perhaps some reader also knows its history?


The (as yet nameless) new hotel


Yet Blok M always gains,  as well as loses!

Here’s a photo of the new hotel going up at the junction of Melawai and Panglima Polim. I doubt if it will replace in any sense The Club, but it will be handy if you get stuck in the vicinity overnight.