The Border Club
By Douglas Habecker
Translated by Ann Lee
140, HuaMei W St, Sec 1
Hours: 9 pm-5 am
Credit cards accepted.
No minimum charge.
The first time I visited The Border Club, I was curious about what kind of magic and charm it would offer me, as many of my friends had suggested that I come and experience it for myself. Now that I've actually been behind its big silver door, I can testify that this bar--created and run by two owners named Nike and Garfield--is easy to love.
According to Nike, opening this bar and restaurant was solely about him and his friends. After years of experience in bars all over Taichung city, he and his collegemates thought that, rather than always trying to decide where to go for their gatherings, it might be a good idea to create a cozy place for customers seeking something different for nightlife.
"We treat every customer like our own friend," says the owner, who says that coming to work is like one big party for him. It's true that as you watch staff and patrons alike hanging out in different corners of the bar you might find it difficult to believe they were complete strangers 10 minutes or so earlier. "I can proudly say that once you put your foot in the door here, frequent visits will follow, " Nike asserts confidently, noting that, thanks to his long "pub experience", he is an expert in pleasing customers. Coming to The Border Club means sharing jokes and good drinks, spending quality time with friends and getting the opportunity to make new ones.
Most customers here are Mandarin speakers. However, Nike says that foreigners also enjoy the local experience that his place offers, and enjoy practicing Chinese with new friends met here, or having fun with the karaoke machine. During various sporting seasons, you can also come here and share your passions over games with others with the same interests.
The regulars here tend to prefer whisky and other liquors, so the mixed drink selection is quite small. Nike admits that cocktails aren't a specialty, but stresses that this doesn't get in the way of a good time. The Border Club offers a simple range of mixers, plus hard liquor and bottled beers. When you get the munchies, order up some fries or Chinese-style hot stir-fried dishes like 3-Cups Squid, 3-Cups Chicken and Hakka-Style Stir-fry (NT$100-200). I personally recommend a drink called "The Border Punch" during your next visit. This proprietary concoction has a fruity aftertaste and may not be too fancy, but is certainly worth trying!