Friday, May 19, 2006

UPTOWN – Pool Bar & Resto

Uptown Pool Bar & Resto is located on the 5th floor of Mal Artha Gading in Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta. This is only a few short minutes drive from my house and office. During the week when I need to get away from work for a while or take a break after work, I usually head here. There is too much traffic in this city to go tromping half way across town just to have a beer with your mates in the city center. I think they have been open a little over a year. Before that there were really no options for decent places to hang out at on this side of town.

They have about 20 or more pool tables. Each one is named after a world famous city like Tokyo, New York, Honolulu, etc. They are all really good quality pool tables and you can play either 8 ball or 9 ball. Or whatever else you can come up with in the solid stripe combination.

You pay for time on the table not per game so you can add and remove balls as you please. None of that coin in the slot bull shit. The Sticks provided are also fairly good. Uptown does not allow the use of powder on their tables but they do sell black spandex gloves for about $2.50 only.

The mall does not get too crowded during the week and even Uptown is fairly empty until the weekends. They come up with promotions to keep the crowd coming in during the week. When I was there this week they were hosting this college student 9 ball competition. It was not crazy crowded or anything but they had a decent turnout and the grand prize was $200.

They used to have more tables a few months ago but they moved some aside to make room for this buffet spread. Food is taken very seriously here and I have already noticed that this introduction has drawn in more of a crowd for Uptown.

Uptown is a very spacious bar with 2 floors, the second one overhanging the first. This makes room for a very high ceiling on one end where they have installed this gigantic projection TV. They show most big matches here and have secured a deal to show the World Cup 2006 matches here. There is a small stage as well and a kick ass sound system so the bands go off every weekend. I remember going there one Friday night and at about 10pm 5 scantily clad women started dancing around the room, sort of performing a striptease, without the strip. I thought it was pretty cool the way they moved between the pool tables entertaining all the guests.

Uptown is at the front of Mal Artha Gading, facing the highway. It actually commands a 180 degree view through its vaulted windows. On the opposite side of the room from where the pool tables are, there is a long seating area. The a la carte menu is also quite good and some people come just for the food.

The view from this side looks straight out to Tanjung Priok, Jakarta’s harbor. There are not too many buildings on this side of town. But I am sure the view will be blocked in no time.

From the front of Uptown you can look directly on to the highway. This is really handy of you are waiting out traffic. Sometimes if I am heading out and I see traffic is bad I will just kick it at Uptown until the scene subsides.

Uptown Pool Bar and Resto is a clean and friendly place to hand out at in North Jakarta. It is also a good place to get away and hang out with your second or third girlfriends without getting busted. The staff is very friendly and the rates are reasonable. In fact you can open a bottle of vodka with some mixers for only $30. That’s quite a deal. Oh, and you can catch a fucking awesome sunset from here on a clear day. Thats really the highlight of spending an eavening there for me. I don't get to see the sunset often enough living in this city.

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