Taipei Pubs and Bars

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??

2 Likes

Used to live next door so this was often a good hangout with zillion screens for European football. Very lively place, but heard the owner got tired of running it and shut it down years ago. Now a Korean restaurant.

In any case, since then Taipei has massively upped its game with quality craft beer pubs. Fex Beergeek, Park Life Drinking Room and the taprooms of Taihu, Zhangmen and Redpoint. Recommended for much better beer than the lager haunts of old.

1 Like

Crafthouse is good for beer and live music.

I used to frequent most if not all of the pubs and bars you mentioned. The Q bar used to do killer cocktails (as did Tickle My Fantasy). I think the Q bar was more gay-friendly than gay. The Watershay/shed? had a more gay clientele.
You would probably like the bars around Her ping and An her, such as Tea bar, James Joyce, Bob 'n Dayes, Crafthouse… oh, and Carnegies, although a shadow of its former self circa mid 2000s.

Oldie Goodie is still there. Haven’t heard of the others you listed. I would suggest joining a few FB groups such as Taipei Expats. You should have some luck starting a conversation there.

Hooters Taipei is my favorite sports bar restaurant nowadays. Can’t beat the ambiance , hospitality, and great food selections

1 Like

Like the new location.

Q bar was not a gay bar. I mean we used to have a gay old time there but it wasn’t a gay bar per se. Sadly the owner is deceased.

Yeah most of them aren’t very lively, as a guy who grew up in a city with a real pub scene where there’s a crowd and a buzz those places can be quite dull and they are a different vibe.
Maybe recommend the lively ones ?

I remember that it was predominantly a lesbian hangout bar.

Hmmmm That explains why my even my best chat up lines seemed to fall on deaf ears! Sad about the owner, he was openly gay but respected the orientation of others (like we all should) and was a thoroughly decent man.

Can’t remember the name but can picture his face now.

Rest in Peace, mate!

Just remembered another one called the Roxy I think. Cant recall the location but it had a wall covered in albums and you could select individual songs for the DJ to play.

Park life is lively as is the Taihu Tasting Room

1 Like

Went by Brass Monkey today afternoon.

They don’t open untill 5 p.m. daily.

We probably would have stayed at least a couple hours maybe well into the evening. will be someplace else

Hard to think of them as a go-to destination where they’re not even open to go-to.

I hope they survive.

The Brass Monkey

1 Like

Pretty typical for pubs and bars in Taipei, isn’t it? It’s one of the main reasons I wind up at Gordon Biersch - it’s one of the few places for a relaxing drink in the afternoon.

1 Like

Yeah pubs and bars of course open 5 or later 8 or 10 p.m.

Brass Monkey it’s more like Gordon Biersch or Hooters or other places that have a full restaurant. Can’t make money on food if you’re not open when people want to eat which includes lunch, breakfast, all day el l especially on the weekends.

And also when international sporting events are on TV.

2 Likes

Taipei has always been crap for pubs. Strange that the brass monkey didn’t open for lunch in the afternoon though.

1 Like

Yeah most capital cities in Asia or even other places have good and open pubs but not Taipei or generally Taiwan isn’t great.

1 Like

Yes it’s even worse outside of Taipei. One of the reasons I love South East Asia so much is being able to hit a decent pub & restaurant especially on a beach or tourist town.

Just one of many things not great about Taipei or Taiwan compared to other countries in Asia

There’s probably one or two or a hundred threads discussing that here somewhere.

1 Like