Ever been to 45 or Spin?

Had my first drive last weekend to a pub/bar , Number 45, which wasn’t easy to spot on since it’s on the second floor by the street . This was my first time to sit on a sort of real pub in Taipei,and I really loved the atmosphere there with a big bite of tasty submarine, oh and the beers too while the right music was on.

Had some really nice sitting there then left, knowing there is the other one called Spin not so far away from there…By the way, Roxy 99 seems just around the corner in the next turn.

Anyone ever been to those places? Any comments?

I’m not so informative about some cool pubs/bars, but the kind of atmosphere is somewhat I’m looking for…occasionally.
Any other splendid places you nice and experienced visitors would like to recommend ? :slight_smile:

And sure I’d love to try some new places as for my adventures when i’m eager to be out of boredom in my life :sunglasses:

Spin is next to the 711 on the corner of Heping and Jinshan. It was not my scene. A little gangsterish, mostly under 25 crowd. Didn’t like the music so much. I’m more into hip hop. They play a little hip hop and a mix of other things. Not so many expats the few times I was there which can be a good thing sometimes depending on your scene. Try it out. You might like it.

Been to Roxy99 (for amusement only) and 45 which I consider a kind of ok, though I am not really a bar guy …

45, the lasagna is the best there in Taiwan!

Went to 45 once 2 years ago. Haven’t wanted to go back. Absolutely average.

45 is owned by the same folks who own Bien and Spin. It used to be twice its normal size. The popularity has slid somewhat since the property owner (Tai Power) forced them to close down half the second floor. The bar used to be packed on Friday and Saturday nights. It’s a bit quieter now, but still a nice place for a pint and a sub.

I met my wife, briefly, in Spin. Then again properly 9 months later at At Roxy. We still go to 45.


my roommate met his wife in spin too…maybe it’s something in the water?

BTW 99 is pretty fair hopping since the re-fit…area in front of the dj booth turns into a mosh pit (fri. nite) but quality of music depends on the whims of lin wei…some disturbing forays into carnegies territory on occasiions (sp)

I can’t leave 45 until I get my piping hot lasagna (well except for the middle which occasionally needs a bit more thawing), topped a few accidentally dropped ashes. Actually, much better than the lasagna is the chili, but it’s spicy, meaning make sure you have an extra newspaper the next day for those frequent journeys to the loo.

Went to Bar 45 today for lunch with BF. We ordered two chilis, two orders of french fries.

Three minutes after placing our order, the waitress came over and said they could only make “almost one” order of fries because they’d reached the last of their supply. This is not the first time we’ve visited and they’ve been out of fries.

My salad (which you get with the chili) came topped with canned corn and a heap of Thousand Island dressing (my least favorite). Halfway through my salad, I overheard the waitress asking (in Chinese) another customer if she’d like Thousand Island or Italian dressing (my favorite) on her salad. I didn’t even get a choice.

The toasted garlic bread that comes with the chili is too hard; you’d cut up the top of your mouth if you don’t break it into dice-sized pieces. So I asked if I could have some bread that had not yet been toasted. The waitress said if it’s not toasted, it’ll be even harder. Hmm…so they’re using only frozen bread.

I’d say if you only want some drinks in the evening, sure, Bar 45 is as good a place as any. But as far as lunch, they’re too consistently inconsistent for me to ever go back again.

The service at 45 has always been terrible – slow, and lots of 'tude.

Given that this thread asks about 45 and Spin, I feel compelled to repost a posting of mine (under the username “christos”) from a couple of years ago. Read it (if you have time - sorry it’s kind of a long one) and draw your own conclusions about the two establishments in question:

Although the original thread - about bar violence - seems to have given way to the usual back and forth on race issues, I’d like to pass on an an experience I had last summer. I’m hoping that it might be helpful to some when considering where to go out for a night on the town.

I was having some drinks with a Rawandan friend of mine at 99. We were drinking and chatting until about 1:00 when we decided to walk to the nearest late night dance venue. We chose Spin.

I’m sure many of you already know where this story is going. Spin is a notorious gangster zone. Ever since the days of those “Tibetan” hoods that used to beat up lone foriegners for sport, up to now, when the place is clearly owned and operated by local “Wise guys”, it’s been a bad news place. [If you doubt the mob connections - just look at the dudes at the door! They aren’t “bouncers”!] At the same time, Spin has also been kind of alluring because of it’s location, cheap price, unpretentious clientel, sometimes decent music, and the 45 free tickets tie in. For a long time it was everbody’s favorite dive.

My Rawandan mate and I paid our NT300 and went down into a reasonably crowded scene. The demographics of the pub have changed a lot over the years - since the gangsters took over - much less western. At the bar we chatted with the very nice bartenders who’ve been there for years. They still rememberd me from the days when I spent far too many all nighters there. As a very friendly, “hao-jo bu jien” gesture, the bartenders even gave us SPIN VIP cards. My buddy hit the dance floor. I hung by the bar, and made a point of greeting Casey [or KC, I’m not sure which] the guy who is the owner of both 45 and Spin. I’ve “known” Casey from the get go of his two business enterprises. We are not buddies, but we have had beers together on several occasions before.

My Rawandan friend and I spent about 45 minutes down in Spin. We did some pretty harmless dancing alongside some local girls, and had a couple of beers. In my recollection we were well behaved by Taipei seedy pub standards. I lived in Taipei for 12 years, I thought I had learned the survival tactics for places like Spin. I knew to aovid the gangster tables, to avoid anything confrontational, and to be circumspect when interacting with local girls. My Rawandan friend wasn’t quite as clued in to all that, but he was pretty harmless on the dance floor.

We decided to leave Spin. It was pretty dead. We had it in mind to try some place in Eastern Taipei like TU. My buddy, one of the nicest guys you’d ever meet - softspoken, polite, laid back, was pretty drunk that night. I guess I was too, but not quite as bad. He went up the stairs first, I was about 30 seconds behind him.

As you might have guessed, he is black. Well, the 3-4 mobsters at the door were shouting at him by the time I reached street level. I don’t understand gutteral Taiwanese so I can’t account for all that was said, but there was enough shit like “gan ni, hei gwei” that I got the idea. Basically they were saying, "Fuck you ****** ", “Get your black ass out of here”, etc. My mate, who hadn’t lived in Taiwan for very long had somehow already learned the words, “Hei gwei” [literally,black ghost - or - ****** ]. He took offense to the words, and told the guys not to call him that. In standing up for himself, he made the biggest mistake of the evening.

I immediately saw where this was going. I started pulling him over towards a Taxi waiting by the 7-11 on Chin-Shan. We couldn’t budge. Too much racial abuse flowing. Now about 4-5 guys were around us. You know things are going south fast when local dudes start doing that - “I’m a gonna kill you, ************” kind of screaming.

One guy, who was with the boss, Casey when I greeted him down in pub,said to me, “I know you are Casey’s friend. This isn’t your problem.”

I launched into the usual “pai-se, pai-se/ Sorry, we are drunk” stuff which has worked before when surronded by Taiwanese lads with their Irish-up. My mate was still reeling from the verbal abuse. I grabbed his arm and pretty much dragged him to the Taxi.

We didn’t get get anywhere in that Taxi that night. Before the driver could drive us off to TU, I saw the pack of hoods by the door make a bee-line for us. By chance I had been the first one into the cab. My friend was sitting curbside. The door of the cab flew open, several guys grabbed my buddy out of the car. The driver quickly jumped out, locked the back doors with me inside, and made himself scarce.

The next events pass as if in a dream. The affable Rawandan, an engineer for a major telecommunications company, was tossed around like a rag doll. He went down fast. It seemed as if there were about 10 guys wailing on him, beating him with clubs, kicking his limp, bloodied body into the gutter.

Car after car of “big brother’s” screached up to the corner, and disgorged their contents, 4-5 guys at a time. In what seemed like seconds, there were 20 maybe 30 very pissed off, very hostile gangsters swarming all over the guy in the gutter, and the corner.

I sat in a trance in the car, waiting for my turn, which I was sure was coming. I didn’t dare meet the eye of any of the guys glaring in at me. One guy came up through the crowd of gangsters, and I mean it was a crowd, and made some gesture - like writing - on the hood of the Taxi. In the state I was in, I was sure it meant something like, “Kill him”.

Sitting trapped in the cab, I was reflecting ,in slow motion, that I had had a fairly long run of good luck as a sometimes occasional sometimes frequent player on the night scene. I was sure that my time was up. I was sure that my mate was dead in the street. The beating had been swift but incredibly savage.

People were all around staring. Club people. You know, the kinds of people you see heaps of times at the pub, but never know. An ex-student of mine, and her Japanese boyfriend saw me trapped in the cab, surronded by hoods, a guy left for dead in the gutter - and laughed.

I saw Casey in the crowd. Briefly,his eyes met mine, we both looked away. Perhaps things had escalated beyond the scope of his ability to intervene. But I was sure of one thing, my knowing him, had prevented me from being in the gutter, with my mate - this far.

Two cops rode up on a scooter. Took one look at the scene, and… rode away.

Meanwhile more and more maifiosi were arriving. My taxi was surrounded. The guys were still cursing, darting back and forth like sharks in a frenzy, looking to vent.

Two cop cars finally arrived. I’ve never seen cops look scared. These guys defintely did. They were seriously outnumbered - and we all know about the realtionship with the “law” and the gangs. But, with the crowd of “witnesses” now all around, including a number of westerns spilling out of 99, and a guy on the brink of death in the gutter, they needed to do something.

One cop gazed into the Taxi at me. I started banging on the window, asking for help. The door wouldn’t open. From out of the crowd of gangsters, a guy comes forward - not the driver - opens the driver’s side door, flips a switch, now my door can open.

My heart is in my mouth. I look over to see my friend being strapped to a gurney and loaded onto an ambulance.

Some newbie Shi-ta Mandarin student types are trying to make a cop take a deposition of some sort. They seem very, very freaked out.

I approach a cop, speaking in Chinese. He says, “Wo bu tong” - and walks away. Another cop the same thing. Two cops leave in their car. Lots of gangsters milling around.

I try another cop, "You have to help me. Some people just attacked my friend. They might be after me [all of this in excited but intelligible Chinese]. The cop just looks at me like I’m crazy, turns his back and walks away. A couple of senior looking “brothers” are clearly in control of the scene. The cops look nervously at them, and at each other.

I see a taxi crusing down Chin-Shan. I step into the street, get in, and stare straight in front of me, expecting the door to fly open, as we wait for the light to turn green at the corner.

The cabbie sees that something’s up. Says, “What’s going on here?” He seems worried that he is getting involved with something. I assure him that the action is over. Police are just doing a routine check. Very slowly, he drives away.

I have the driver drop me blocks from my house. I run home through back alleys, looking over my shoulder all the way.

What a night.

I didn’t go out for a couple of months after that, in fact that experience really made me realize that I had gotten too old for that kind of bullshit.

My friend spent 4 days in intesive care. Fractured skull, broken ribs, badly bruised face. He had arrived in the emergency room so drained of blood that they almost lost him. Fortunatley for him, his company paid for a private nurse to look after him for a couple of weeks of recuperation at home.

I only saw him tiwce after that night, before I left Taiwan. He was still shook-up, so was I. We didn’t have much to say to each other. What could we say?

For any Taiwanese reader who might feel offended by or uncomfortable with this posting, please understand that I’m not writing this to add weight to some of the absurd racist crap that people digress on in these forums.

I think that we would all agree that this kind of dispicable racsim - I mean the gangsters beating this guy, as far as they knew, to death - just because of his race, could happen anywhere in the world. There is always that element of society.

My real motivation in writing this, is to just give yet another heads up to anyone planning to do their partying in the Shi-Ta area.

Know this; 45, and Spin are run by the same mob that nealy killed my buddy, and who have similarly hospitalized many other people - often for no discernable reason at all. Stories like mine are legion from that area.

I guess my point is - if you have heard tell that a place is gang controlled, or favored by gangsters in their leisure time, give it a miss. Don’t assume, like I did, that you know the ropes, and wouldn’t make the mistakes that cocky new commers make. Don’t ever assume that you are “down” with gangsters. Don’t assume that being out with a couple of friends insualtes you from this random gangster bullshit. And never assume that you being foreign somehow shields you from hoods and their violent ways.

The history of guys getting beaten and killed in Taipei clubs, more often than not, is about innocent people being victimized by hopped up hoods, trying to be bad ass. Often the fact that you are a foreigner is all the excuse they need.

Is it really worth it?

Sure, the more mellow, upmarket places like Sean’s seem a bit too pre-packaged and tame, but then again, how often do you hear of white collar types being beaten to an inch of death?

Finally, I’d say to anyone, in particular women, be very wary of the cabs that cue up infront of gangster clubs. The cabbies are more often than not “connected”. Always a better idea to use radio dispatch taxis late at night.[/quote]

I have to respond to the last post. I would even if it were fiction. I am printing that to distribute to my hubby, my coworkers, and to keep firmly in my mind when I want to go “stirring it up”. I will stick to my old haunts and feel safe enough in them.

Thanks for that!


My guess is that more than a few Taipei veterans read a posting like mine and roll their eyes. “Yes, things like this do happen,” they might think, “but generally speaking Taipei is a safe place to have a night-on-the-town.”

I totally agree. Taipei always felt a lot more secure than my hometown, NYC, for example. I’ve been all over town, at all hours of the night, and as far as street trouble is concerned, never ever felt threatend. But, that’s a guy’s perspective. I think that it’s a lot different for women. For women, local or foreign, Taipei late at night can be dangerous. Whenever possible travel with your hubby & male friends, and take those radio taxis late at night, ok?

The general security situation changes for everyone, when you choose a venue for an evening of “stirring things up”, as you say.

I guess the moral of my story (100% non-fiction, btw) is, as you have obviously gathered, that it makes sense to steer way clear of any place that has a reputation as a gangster hangout, or gives you that feeling when you go there. And then, when you are in a club, stick with your friends, and avoid packs of local guys that have that unmistakeable look.

The incident at Spin happened in the summer of 2001, but I’ve never heard any indication that Spin has miraculously undergone a radical transformation. I’m sure that it’s still a mob stronghold. As for the current hot spots, listen to the grapevine - the word usually gets around fast if a particular place is dangerous, and by all means stick to your favorite old haunts, if you feel secure at them.

I’m no longer living in the ROC, but I hope you enjoy your time there; despite that nightmare evening, I sure did.


Nah, they wanted to clean the place up a bit, and asked those guys to chill, and later not to hang out there any more. The music became more commercial, chasing away even more people. The result…it’s so dead there now that they are only opening on Saturday nights. Even then, they’re not packed.
I’m suffering from withdrawal symptoms, and have even been forced to hang out at Roxy Vibe a few times. :stuck_out_tongue:

My husband and I started dating after a drunken night at spin in '96. So when we returned to Taipei, we wanted to check it out.

One of the best nights ever at Spin. My hubby and I went there with a friend in @ November 2002. Must’ve been when they were tyring to clean the joint up, as there was no one there. The DJs were practising and just wanted a little help on what to play. We danced and had a great time with all the people who worked there.

That said, never been back since…

Dear mwalimu
I was shocked when I read your post here. Just 2 days ago, I was in

I am about 100 percent sure that they were Nepalese.

Spin has always been a place to get your head bashed in or other bloody injuries.

I am about 100 percent sure that they were Nepalese.

Spin has always been a place to get your head bashed in or other bloody injuries.[/quote]

no ethnic tibetan. some might have had nepalese nationality but they were in taiwan because of the tibetan connection…really nasty fuckers they were too…

[quote]I was shocked when I read your post here. Just 2 days ago, I was in