Hi. My name is Paul and I lived in Taipei from 2000 to 2007 on the THSRC project. I am a UK professional railway engineer, now retired and living back in the UK with my Taiwanese wife and I have just arrived back in Taiwan (well, 2 weeks ago - my quarantine ends tomorrow - yippee!!) and we are staying for a month or two.
I have been back most years for at least a week or more but during my quarantine I have been trying to find any news on the old watering holes we used to frequent. Sadly, the news is (mostly) bad. I know that the Taiwanese are not pubby people, preferring restaurants, and that the influx of expats during the THSRC build period would have temporarily inflated the pubs and bars in Taipei to meet demand but the almost complete disappearance of my old haunts is very sad indeed. These are a few I remember:
The Ploughmans - my favourite bar. Situated near Zhongxiao/Dunhua Crossroads. Big cellar bar run by a Taiwanese chap called Mason and his wife. Had live bands nearly every night and some good party nights. One of the bands was called “Rubber Band” run by a chap called Danny who did a cracking cover of Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven.
Saints and Sinners - on Anher Road just down from Carnegies run by a Philipina who’s name I can’t recall. Was called “Someplace Else” on opening. Big double fronted bar at street level.
Q-Bar - I think this was a gay venue. Located on an alley parallel to Zhongxiao Road behind Mingyao department store.
Malibu - by Renai Circle
Tavern (Old location) - off an alley running away from Keelung Road on the opposite side of the road from the Hyatt (?). Run by a Swiss Chap called Michel. I was in here on the evening of 11th September 2001 at about 8pm (about 9am in New York) when a breathless American Guy ran in and shouted out to change the TV channel from the cricket (I think) to CNN just in time for us to see the second airliner crash into the WTC towers. It was a dreadful evening that will be burnt on my memory for ever!
Tavern (New location) - again run by Michel when the first closed. Well equipped sports bar on Xinyi Road near the crossroads with Keelung Road.
Rock Oldies - Music Bar on Renai Road, opposite Sun Yat San Memorial Park.
My Other Place - My second favourite bar. Good restaurant/bar with an American theme on Fushing N Road near the crossroads with Minsheng Road. Run by Molly. Originally part of a group of bars with “My Place” (in the zone - never went there) and “Someplace Else” (later called Saints and Sinners - see above). This is still going I think!!
Oldie Goodies - a live music bar full of students. Situated on Roosevelt Road near Tai Power MRT station. This is still operating I think and was buzzing with a cracking live band last time I went about 4 years ago. If it’s always like that it’s well worth a visit.
There’s lots of others that I can vaguely remember (45 Bar, Brass Monkey, Post Home in Tien Mu, Hollywood something or other in Warner Village and others that I cant recall clearly).
Is there anyone else here who can remember this golden era? And, judging by my recollections above, are there any other existent watering holes in Taiwan worth visiting? Live music would be a bonus and is Danny and Rubber Band still playing??