Into the Wee Hours at 117
By C. Donovan Smith Translated
by Sharon Yang
Too many Spanish brandies and we
had passed the point of no return; the night had to continue to
its end. La Bodega was closing down for the night and we needed
a late-night haunt to keep us on our roll. Looking for a new place
to try, La Bodega's owner led us near to People's Square, around
the corner from Ala Saxophone Pub and right down from The Spice
Shop. It was there we found 117.
Throwing caution to the wind, and
knowing that a hangover would be greeting us with the dawn, we
embarked on an exploration of various beach-style cocktails for
some reason that I am not sure I even understood at the time.
I have no recollection of whether they were good or not but, by
that point, it hardly mattered.
Our immediate need for drinks satisfied,
I looked around the place. A crowd of around 30--about a quarter
of this female--kept the place pretty full for a Tuesday night,
even though it was well past the witching hour. Friendly people
invited me over for a few drinks that I probably didn't need to
add to the mix.
Clusters of friends played dice,
laughed, played drinking games and raised their glasses. Open
for over two years, 117 now has a fairly large group of regulars
who, like us, undoubtedly came to keep the party going late. The
official closing time is 5 a.m., though apparently their official
hours were 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. at one time. Perhaps, in those days
customers went straight to the office after their night out.
Despite the fact that the establishment's
name includes the word "restaurant", there isn't any
actual food on the menu. Beer is NT$120+ and cocktails clock in
at NT$200+. Apparently, food can be ordered in.
you plan on being out late and are looking for a place to
go, add 117 to the short list of possibilities in Taichung.