Walk past the main lobby of M Bloc Space and you’ll find FOYA. The industrial warehouse—previously home to _OEANG and long before that historical money printing factory Perum Peruri—is reinvented into a highball bar slash artspace, where they cater to the city’s youth in search of a good time.
The O in FOYA is a crypto currency logo; a nod to the changing times, to symbolise a new era of post-pandemic fun. This is the concept behind FOYA, brought into reality to welcome Jakarta’s nightlife scene (slowly but surely) again. Unlike most establishments where artworks are squeezed in as a last touch, FOYA shapes its identity on the exhibit of art, distinguishing itself as a bar where art sits front and centre, and quite literally so.
To exhibit, an art installation by Bandung-born artist Naufal Abshar welcomes patrons into FOYA’s foyer. Walk a bit further and you’ll spot another, the rotating 3D-printed astronaut. Through these installations, he wanted to “re-package deep elements of fine art into a piece that the masses could understand and relate to. The work here touches on themes of changing times and twists elements of the past and the future into one. To look back is to look forward. And my hope is that the younger generation will be able to connect with that,” the artist gushed.
But cutting to the chase, FOYA is about the good times of nightlife, where all codes of pretense are dispelled and stuffiness left at the door. The vibe is relaxed, the crowd informal. The bar is off to one side, while the rest of the room is decked in bar stools, high tables, and cozy lounge sofas. Here, patrons are welcomed to spend their slow afternoons the way they see fit: relishing a bite from their string of imaginative delights or cutting straight to the chase to their signature cocktails.
There’s plenty on offer, with a menu that features unlikely pairings one would feel inclined to try after a drink or two. It’s summed up in playful fusions: from Wagyu Jjapaguri, Nasi Bakar Salmon Kecombrang, to Singaporean street-style Carrot cake. As for drinks, The Foya’s Fave (bourbon whisky, sweet vermouth, bitter) is a crowd pleaser, but make a note to try their spin on Japanese highballs—the Japanese Fantasy or the Summer GT won’t disappoint.
Once it gets dark and the fluorescent lights gently bask the room, the allure to stay longer draws heavier and the night feels young. True to its name, FOYA (‘foya’ means to indulge in extravagance with money) promises your money’s worth in exchange for its alchemy of art, music, and easygoing charm.