Dozens of unlicensed street food stalls (locally known as warung) in Canggu’s Berawa Beach have been demolished, much to the dismay of frequent visitors who enjoyed the street-styled cafés.
Badung Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) Chief I Gusti Agung Ketut Suryanegara told local media that the authorities have warned the warung owners to shut down their businesses and clear the area since February this year. The deadline to vacate, he said, was actually May 15.
“This is a consequence of the long-issued [warning] from February and we have discussed this with the beach business owners,” Suryanegara said.
Several beach business owners reportedly said that they had asked for two more days to vacate the premises, but in the end they decided to accept their fate.
There were initially 30 beach warungs in Berawa Beach. Six had been demolished before the crackdown yesterday, leaving 24 stalls to be bulldozed.
Suryanegara said that, in addition to lacking licenses, the crackdown was necessary as Berawa Beach is marked as one of Bali’s tourism hotspots and thus it is important to keep it neat and orderly.
A local media outlet reported that a big nightclub is currently under construction in the area.
Clips of the demolition went viral on local communities’ social media accounts with many lamenting the loss.
Arifaldi Dasril, 47, a public relations agency owner who visits beach warungs at least once a week, told that he was “really sad” to hear about the destruction of the stalls.
“We need more humble venues like these so we can interact with real people or even sweet stray dogs over sunsets. Can’t even count how many friends I’ve made here,” he said, adding that “beaches in the most natural and down-to-earth way is what makes Bali unique.”