Comforts of Circle Bar
By Courtney Donovan Smith
Translated by Andy Tsao
16-1, JingCheng 1st St
Hours: 7 pm-1 am
No service charge.
Credit cards not accepted.
Smoking section available.
Menu: Chinese and English
Circle Bar has a long history, stretching back to the late 1990s and including three different locations. Since 2009, under new ownership, it has embarked on a new chapter. Manager Milo Chen says the bar has worked to create an atmosphere that is relaxed and different than other bars. Immediately apparent is the effort and attention to detail that has gone into making this nightspot comfortable. The front of the bar is a patio and smoking area with pretty Christmas lights, enclosed with a wooden picket fence. The non-smoking interior features a very attractive curving long bar done with dark wood. The decor features dark wood and assorted bar-style bric-a-brac of the sort that says 'loosen your tie and unwind'. There are some surprising, attractive touches, such as the mood-lit plant section that forms an exotic hallway to the bathroom and the pleasing ceiling lamps. Circle Bar is also noticeably clean and well kept.
The efforts don't stop there, as manager Milo is an energetic whirlwind attentively working to ensure all her guests are well taken care of and feel welcome. Her clientele of mostly businesspeople and engineers clearly feels at home.
From the American-style pub menu of starters (NT$150+), salads (NT$120+) and burgers (NT$180-250) I chose the Mushroom Burger (NT$200). The portion was filling, the ingredients of good quality and with the nice touch of a mixture of potato wedges and fries on the side instead of the standard fries alone. It was also tasty.
Cocktails are NT$150 and up and shots start at NT$120. Beers normally run NT$130 and up, but every day there is a different beer on special so be sure to ask.
And, for a touch of spice, drop by on Friday evenings at 10:30 p.m. for their belly dance show.