Senayan is now home to a little piece of Dublin —Molly Malone’s, Jakarta’s second authentic Irish pub, is undergoing a soft opening.
After the success of Murphy’s Irish Pub, which opened in Kemang in 2010, pub managers Killian Murphy and Trevor Hough decided the time was right to open a second Irish pub.
The pub is named after Dublin’s unofficial anthem “Molly Malone,” which tells the story of Molly, a beautiful fishmonger from Dublin who died at a young age.
Molly Malone’s is split into two sections — authentic Irish pub, and live music venue and bar. The interior is traditionally furnished — the floor, tables and bar are made from varnished wood. Framed photos depicting Irish scenery, streets and pubs line the walls. Also adorning the pub are what Murphy describes as “bric-a-brac,” antique clocks, phones, kettles and framed sports jerseys from Ireland. The pub is also equipped with a pool table and TVs.
Molly’s serves a variety of beers, wines and spirits. And, of course, no Irish pub would be truly complete without offering Guinness on tap, as well as Kilkenny, another Irish cream ale.
Both drafts are in a “cold room,” which keeps the kegs at about 3 degrees Celsius.
“A lot of bars in Jakarta don’t have cold rooms, so our Kilkenny will taste a little bit better here,” said Murphy.
“It improves the beer tenfold,” added Hough. “It [stays] colder in the glass longer, and that makes a massive difference.”
Molly Malone’s also serves traditional pub food, including fish and chips, homemade burgers and fries, and cottage pie.
Molly’s live music venue is next to, but separate from, the pub itself. It features performances on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and stays open later than the pub. The venue has a bar, comfy VIP booths and even a dancing table.
The hope is that Molly Malone’s will emulate the success of Murphy’s, which won Now! Jakarta magazine’s Best Saturday Night Live Music Award this year.
The pub and music venue sections are separated by a soundproof wall, so those who want a quiet drink can sit in the pub, while those who favor a more lively atmosphere can watch live music.
“It’s really the best of both worlds,” said Hough. “It’s two different concepts, and that’s what we want to work with.”
Killian and Hough said that like Murphy’s, they want to keep Molly’s as authentic as possible, including hiring Irish bar staff.
“If you want a proper Irish bar, you have to make an effort,” Hough said. “You’ve got to want to know your customers’ names and even what they drink. That does make a difference. It shows you’re making an effort.”
Hough says that opening an Irish bar is more than putting a shamrock on the door and having an Irish name out in front.
“It’s hard work,” he said. “All over the world, people open pubs pretending to be Irish bars. The difference is that we can offer a bit more of Ireland here than anybody else.”