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By Courtney Donovan Smith Translated by Sharon Yang


The Tavern

415, XinYi Rd., sec. 4
Tel: (02) 8780-0892
Hours: 8 pm-3 am weekdays; 8 pm-5 am weekend


The Most Relaxing of Taipei Pubs for Getting Together with Friends

Since it opened in 2000, The Tavern has established itself as a landmark in eastern Taipei. Located in a lane across Ji Long (Keelung) Road from the World Trade Center, it is the after-work destination for many of the professionals employed in the area.

The Tavern has a casual atmosphere and the clientele tends to be laid-back and relaxed through the the early part of the evening. The music isn't intrusive and the crowd is there to meet up with friends and acquaintances over drinks or a meal. Though it is a pub, people generally aren't here to get blind drunk but, rather, to enjoy each other's conversation and company in a comfortable environment.

As the evening moves on, and blood-alcohol levels rise, the energy level and buzz of the crowd grows pleasantly. Even on weekday nights, there is a sizeable crowd keeping the place bustling and lively, but always in keeping with The Tavern's laid-back and friendly atmosphere.

Presiding over the scene is owner Michel Blanc, whose acerbic wit and sharp comments cut through inane small talk like a buzzsaw and never let a conversation get dull. His energy is clearly evident and he is excellent at bringing people togethor--a crucial skill in building the friendships that center around being at The Tavern. He is also active in supporting the community through charities and sponsoring local sports teams.

Europeans in particular are attracted to The Tavern, no doubt in part because of frequent live broadcasts of Premier League football matches, the foosball table and the large selection of unusual imported Belgian beers. Traditional British fare, like Cottage Pie (NT$280) and Bangers and Mash (NT$250), are joined by all-day breakfasts, pasta dishes (NT$199) and a variety of main courses from their grill to form a fairly wide-ranging menu (learn more about their pub food menu). My own good experiences with the food are confirmed by the large number of patrons who start their evening at this establishment with a meal rather than show up only for the drinks.

Though the majority of the customers are in professional occupations, The Tavern is not at all expensive. Bottled beers start at a reasonable NT$120 and the cocktails at NT$140. The food is similarly reasonable. The service team, headed by the tall and attractive Kate, handle their job well and are genuinely friendly.

On the only down side of my experience there, I am certain that either the surface of the foosball table conspired against me or the ball had a mind of its own.

Arranging to meet up with a friend recently, I was informed that there was "a great place to hang out near the World Trade Center; it's called The Tavern". As much as advertisements try to upstage such endorsements, they never ring as true as the compliment that naturally crops up in conversation. Judging by the pleased crowds in The Tavern, I am sure the same sentiments crop up frequently.

Vist their new website:

'THE Taiwan Sports Pub' - Tavern, Taipei


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