Holywings has been under intense spotlight over the past week due to a religious controversy surrounding a social media promotion offering free gin for guests named Muhammad and Maria, which led to the closure of their outlets in Jakarta and beyond.
It seems plans for the Indonesian bar chain to open a beach club in Bali remain unaffected, as the venue is said to be on schedule for opening next month.
Actress and social media influencer Nikita Mirzani, who is a shareholder at Holywings, said in her recent Instagram post that the chain aims to open “one of the biggest beach fest club[s] in Asia.”
As reported by Coconuts Jakarta, Holywings’ 12 Jakarta outlets have been closed down amid the religious controversy, although the capital’s authorities have made it clear that they were closed due to the chain’s licensing violations. Other outlets in Surabaya and Makassar have been shut due to pressure from conservative groups.
Nikita responded to the closures in an interview with a local news outlet, saying that she was shocked but trusts Holywings’ management to handle the crisis.
Parroting a previous statement by Holywings, Nikita pleaded for sympathy for the company as thousands of employees rely on it to make a living.
“Look also behind [Holywings], many people just like yourself are making a living for their children and wives,” she said.
Coconuts has reached out to celebrity lawyer Hotman Paris Hutapea, another prominent Holywings shareholder, for comments regarding the chain’s Bali future amid the controversy.
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.