The list of bars is boundless in South Jakarta, a neighbourhood hotspot for post-work wine sipping or weekend party shifts. But to find one that allows you to lounge in the company of perky beats and quality cocktails without being drowned in over-amped music and crowd, that’s a different story.
Luckily, Vol. Bottle Shop & Bar (a nod to alcohol by volume) draws this into balance by creating a space for those in seek of a casual drinking sesh in a laid-back setting. Tucked in a compact building on Suryo street, Vol’s thematic den embraces a jarring impression compared to the building’s unassuming façade.
A neat display of liquor racks leads the entryway to the bar that exhibits a catchy contemporary design. Whether it’s their Alka-Seltzer-inspired hanging pod installations (tongue-in-cheek humour to the hangover cure) or yellow checkered couch, details of their interior set the tone: youthful and trendy. Subdued lighting and good curation of music make the case for an intimate sipping session here, and their Pad Station—a stop for those who’d like to request their favourite tunes—is another feature that braces a warmer welcome for patrons to make this place just a little more theirs for the night.
“We want everything to give a personalised experience that is hard to come by in Jakarta’s bar scene,” said co-founders Thomas Hardian and Adhit Zaki. What started as a small liquor shop, the young entrepreneurs expanded the business into a versatile bar for an early night out or weekend get-together, but the personal touch of the business remains intact: should you be interested in purchasing a bottle of spirit, Vol.’s bartenders would gladly fix your drinks into playful concoctions for you while casually striking up a friendly chit-chat.
A party of craft cocktails, helmed by bar manager Rolando, will easily spellbind. True to their nature, the selection boasts fun and not-so-classic tipples. Those looking to indulge in creamy cocktails will take a liking to their tequila-based Matcha Picchu. Drinks with a more tropical note are also available here, such as Kinky Kong (rum-based banana colada), butterfly pea-infused gin and tonic Purple Rain and the housemade, tequila-infused grapefruit soda Easy Fizzy.
The rule of thumb is never to drink on an empty stomach, so pair your picks of liquors with nibbles from Coca at Vol., developed by head chef Kaskara Hasibuan (known for his private dining venture Comocasa), that stretches from fusion cuisine to contemporary Japanese like Menchi Katsu Sando, Pescado Bao and Tare Wings. Those looking for a bigger bite can go ham on a more satiating selection, like their Aged Chicken Teriyaki Don (made of three-days aged chicken) or the fresh Smoking Salad.
The night starts young at Vol., and whether you’re in the mood to double down with the drinks or simply ‘lax in high spirits after you clock out, the folks behind the bottle shop-slash-bar are looking forward to frivolously craft your tipples with aplomb.