Holywings may reopen after they sort out alcohol sales license: vice governor

Photo: Holywings
Photo: Holywings

Holywings’ closure in Indonesia is not necessarily permanent, Vice Governor Ahmad Riza “Ariza” Patria said, with the popular chain of nightlife establishments allowed to reopen its outlets in the capital as soon as it sorts out some paperwork.

Under Governor Anies Baswedan’s orders, the Jakarta Provincial Government this week shuttered 12 Holywings bars and clubs in the capital after an audit uncovered various breaches of administrative requirements. The order came after Holywings caused a nationwide scandal over a free drinks promo that was perceived to be blasphemous.

One administrative violation was the serving of alcoholic beverages on-site, which goes against Holywings’ retail-only license for selling alcohol.

All being said, Vice Governor Ariza said we may soon see a revival of Holywings in Jakarta.

“As long as the permits are obtained in accordance with the rules, then any business is allowed to operate [in Jakarta],” Ariza said yesterday evening.

“We ask that all businesses be mindful of requirements. Don’t take them lightly.”

On a promotional social media post last week, Holywings promised a bottle of gin for men named Muhammad and for women named Maria every Thursday. The post sparked intense religious outrage in the Muslim-majority nation, prompting the arrest of six employees management said had acted independently and were thus solely responsible for creating and posting the promo. 

Further away from the capital, Holywings venues in Surabaya and Makassar have been closed until further notice amid pressure from conservative groups. Holywings has 36 bars and clubs throughout Indonesia listed on its official website, with a beach club in Bali under construction.

Amid ongoing pressure to shut down Holywings entirely, the chain has pleaded with the public to think about the fate of its 3,000 employees and their families.

More on the Holywings scandal

This free drinks for Muhammad promo didn’t go down well in Indonesia

Muhammad drinks promo fallout: Holywings says fate of 3,000 employees may be on the line amid pressure to close

Governor Anies Baswedan revokes permits for 12 Holywings outlets amid Muhammad controversy

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