After 8 years living in Jakarta, I finally visited Jaya Pub, the oldest expat bar in the city (since 1976). It is really a shame I never came before because the place would have deserved a review on this blog a long time ago.

Owned by Rima Melati and her husband (also behind Le Bistro and La Bodega), Jaya Pub looks like a survivor. Not only has it been around for 35 years, it also hasn't changed during that time: Toto for instance, one of their employees, has been working here since the beginning. He is now 70 years-old, probably the oldest bartender in Jakarta. The decoration is nothing but the accumulation of all the souvenirs and photos gathered over time. You cannot help but feel nostalgic in Jaya Pub, especially if you've been an expat for a while already.

They have a live band everyday, playing a bit of everything but nothing too recent. Customers are welcome to go on stage to sing as well. Here is a video I shot:
They serve some decent pub food: I tried the Lamb Chops (Rp135k++) and Lamb Skewer (Rp75k++): The meat could have been more tender (or they could give a better knife), but the cooking was fine for pub fare. I thought it was a bit pricey though. For drinking, I had a Bintang (Rp37k++).
Lamb Skewer
Lamb Chops
Overall: Jaya Pub is not a place for everyone, especially if you are only interested in finding stylish, modern venues. But for those who enjoy grabing a beer in a friendly and laid-back atmosphere, it is a must-try bar.
 
Opening hours:
Everyday from 5pm to 2am.
Happy hours from 5pm to 9pm (buy one get one free).
Live music from 8.30pm onwards.

Jaya Pub
Gedung Jaya, Jl. MH.Thamrin Kav.1-2,
Jakarta, Indonesia
Phone number: +62-21 319 25 633

Facebook: Jaya Pub Jakarta
Website: http://jayapub.jktlinks.com/

15 comments to '' Jaya Pub (Thamrin) "

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  1. I went there the other night, and the place is awesome. It was a Monday night, and thus not that crowded, but still a lot of fun. It's completely what a bar should be. They're having a pre-ramadan blow out on Wednesday 7/27 that looks way fun.

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  2. Go there for the best original indie bands in town, a new bunch each time; on Sunday evening, last sunday of the month. It's called "superbad", and it is - you'll have a blast.

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  3. Maybe the best bar I visited in my life.

    Excellent live bands (excellent sound quality also), relax atmosphere, mix customers (indonesian, chinese, expats...), nice waiters. The best part is too admire old expats having fun on famous old songs. And of course, special mention for Toto, THE star of Jaya Pub.

    This place is absolutely unique, and therefore should have the rank 10/10.

    SZ.

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  4. I was there last week and it was closed. Did thry close for good or are thry still open?

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  5. I was there last week. Not closed for good. I've been by and its been closed before though (spraying for bugs).

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  6. I know Jaya Pub from my friend who worked there as a public relation. She asked me to go to JayaPub, and i think Jaya Pub is a pub which have identity, good music, i often went there when Jessy played guitar, and also Big Donny. The waitress are friendly. if u like vintage things and good music jaya pub is a right place to go.

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  7. Lovely to see it's still going. I spent many happy evenings in the Jaya Pub between 1983 and 1986. I used to play the piano during the band break or after they had finished, then a rickshaw race with my mate back to the hotel. Happy days - I'm 70 now - wish I was 40 again.

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  8. Nice place, nice live music, nice waitress and a uniqe place..amazing it last for 36 years!!!

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  9. The Mother of all Bars. How often we had wild plans to go bar-hopping in Jakarta , met each other in the Jaya Pub and stayed there the whole night!
    The days of Felix are over and it is less crowded than in the eighty's, but still one of the best places in Jakarta to hang out and have a bite.

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  10. The place is racist to locals (pr and manager). waiters are friendly.

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  11. racist pricey place with lower than average food. spoilt my final night as a tourist in Jakarta, was literally shouted at and chased out by the waiter right less than 5mins after we paid the bill without letting us finish our drink just because another Caucasian wanted our table

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  12. Really, is the problem with the pooltable still exist? http://www.livinginindonesiaforum.org/showthread.php/7604-Don-t-Ever-go-to-the-Jaya-Pub-worst-place-in-Jakarta

    If they are recists to local indonesians and foreigns dark skinned people, they should be dealth with

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  13. Still curious about the pool problems, havent been there for 4 years, but how is the place now? is the management the same?

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  14. Jaya Pub has relocated actually.... Can we say it is still the oldest bar in Jakarta now? Maybe it should be updated...

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  15. Jaya Pub is still going...

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