Hello dear reader! (If there are any…) Hope you’re having a fine time easing into the weekend and getting ready for Chinese New Year. I recently came back from Jakarta and wanted to share some experiences from the opening of the first international branch of Standing Sushi Bar. It’s located in Jakarta at La Piazza Kelapa Gading.
The restaurant was scheduled to open on January 15, so I flew to Jakarta on January 13. I wanted to familiarize myself with the area and see if there was anything I could help with prior to the opening.
When I arrived, the restaurant looked like this…
Let’s say my first reaction was to ask, “So… are we really opening 2 days from now? I notice there is no furniture…”
Shortly after that one of the air conditioning units malfunctioned and dumped water all over the floor. That was exciting.
Well, there’s nothing a 24 hour construction cycle can’t accomplish and thankfully on opening day we had chairs, tables, and functioning air conditioners. For a bit I thought we were going to have to revert to the original Standing Sushi Bar concept with no chairs!
I’m sure any restaurant owner has the same opening day worry – what if no one shows up? I was doubly worried since we had done very little advertising of the restaurant in Jakarta. The main things were the Facebook page, a tie-in with one retail shop, and a banner along the main street.
I guess when the main street is full of Jakarta traffic, that leads to a lot of eyeballs.
Which thankfully brought in a lot of people on opening day!
The mall where we’re in is like an open air shopping plaza; though there are very few retail shops (you can find a ton in the adjoining mall called Mal Kelapa Gading) and instead it’s full of restaurants and cafes. There is also a movie theater on the top floor. One cool thing is that almost every night they have a live band playing on the outdoor stage. From Standing Sushi Bar’s balcony seating area we get a good view.
Here’s a daytime view of La Piazza:
Plenty of places to get a caffeine fix – Starbucks, J. Co, and Black Canyon Coffee come to mind. Since there was no internet access in the restaurant yet I was constantly buying coffee so I could use these cafes’ wireless internet.
I’m trying to learn more about the Jakarta sushi scene. If anyone has any pointers or comments about Japanese restaurants there, let me know!
Until next time!
(Oh, and Standing Sushi Bar Singapore sent a little greeting to the folks in Jakarta)