When Anas Nouva heard that line from the Beatles on the radio, he made an unlikely connection — it reminded him of Kemang in South Jakarta.
Taking this unlikely source of inspiration, Anas has opened Penny Lane, a coffee shop and bistro with a 1960s British-style interior in Kemang where people can hang out and escape the traffic.
“Penny Lane in Liverpool is like Kemang. People can find many cafes and shops there,” said Teuku Muhammad Adly, head of the cafe’s marketing division. “Penny Lane is also where Paul McCartney and John Lennon met for the first time. That’s why [Anas] wanted to bring a British and Beatles atmosphere here.”
And choosing the soundtrack for the cafe was easy — just the best tracks from the Beatles on repeat.
The new cafe held its soft opening in December and made its grand opening on March 1.
“The response was quite good during the soft opening. People loved our concept. They liked to take photos and some people have even held photoshoots here,” Teuku said. “And they also liked our menu, which felt familiar for them.”
The owner is a music-lover and member of a band. His dream was to open a place with a musical vibe, where live music could be played every weekend. He also wanted to host music-themed events.
“We almost held an event last month with one of the Beatles communities in Jakarta. We wanted to watch a music documentary of the Beatles in Penny Lane on the day of George Harrison’s birthday. But, unfortunately it was canceled because most of the members live in the Kelapa Gading area. It’s quite far from Kemang,” Teuku said.
He added that the cafe was already planning another event to attract the music community to gather at Penny Lane.
“Watching music documentaries and gigs will be first on the list,” he said.
There are two floors at Penny Lane, the second floor being reserved for live music and a smoking zone. Downstairs, the interior is dominated by wood on the walls, floor and most of the furniture.
There are also rustic lamps and clocks, and lyrics from “Penny Lane” painted in white on a wall.
But one thing that really catches the attention of visitors is the ceiling, which is covered in books.
“Everyone who comes here asks about it,” Teuku said with a laugh. “But Anas explained that he just wanted to create something unique for no real reason. All the interior design and furniture just came from his imagination.”
Penny Lane offers international cuisine such as salads, steaks, pasta, chicken cordon bleu and more.
The main courses are named after the Beatles band members: Ringo Steak, John Lamb Chop, George Marinated Salmon and Paul Fish ’n’ Chips.
The smoothies take their names from Beatles songs: Hey Jude, Day Tripper, Yellow Submarine and Michelle.
The signature smoothie is named after Yoko Ono and, ironically, has become one of the most popular. It is made with vanilla ice cream, Nutella, strawberries and fresh milk.
“Nowadays people love to order our Paul Fish ’n’ Chips, which is made with dori fish, and John Lamb Chop for mains. For appetizers the chef recommends the chicken quesadilla, which is also the most ordered so far,” Teuku said.
The cafe does not serve alcohol, putting more of a focus on coffee made with local beans from Toraja.
With a cup of coffee and a few Beatles tunes to hum along to, anyone can feel transported away from the congestion of Kemang into the Penny Lane of old.
Penny Lane Bistro
Jl. Kemang Selatan VIII Blok C-4,
Tel. 021 719 6926/719 6826
Open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays, to midnight on weekends