By Courtney Donovan Smith
Translated by Naomi Lai
7, Lane 118, YongFu Rd
Hours: 7 pm-3 am
Credit cards not accepted.
No service charge.
Smoking section available.
Menu: Chinese & English
The COMPASS updated you on the burgeoning nightlife scene in the Science Park area recently, and in this issue we throw the spotlight on one of those spots. The best nightlife spots, the ones that stand the test of time, excel at something--quality cocktails, decor, attractive wait staff, the poshness of the clientele. For December Saloon, it's the friendliness.
A resident expat with an environmental issues-based NGO, David Sheil, put it this way: "This is my favourite bar in Taichung because it is extremely welcoming, I can come in, have a beer and relax and there is no one trying to pressure me or chat me up for something. I've made a number of very interesting local friends here. It's a great place to unwind."
The owner, Hong Kong-born Mei Miao (Jasmine), explains that her regulars are like a family. Unlike most spots, December Saloon's special parties are formed through a kind of collaborative-effort process involving the staff and regulars, so the themes are reflective of clientele. Periodically, for example, December hosts 'dog parties', with her regulars all bringing their 'best friends' to join in the fun. Friendliness also runs through the decor. Like many spots, there is plenty of funky clutter, like photos and writing on the walls, attesting to the enthusiasm of the patrons. Unlike most, there are plenty of original touches, like the hand-painted papier-mache ceiling decoration and the original paintings on the walls. A house specialty is the 'Fire Starter' (NT$300) which features seven different alcohols. As Mei Miao puts it, laughing, 'You drink that, then you die!'. Beers run NT$120 and up and cocktails start at NT$160.
December is located at the Sun Mall, in the lane that runs between the A-Mart (愛買, previously Geant) with attached McDonald's and the KFC.