A stress-relieving darts bar for the after work crowd
By Diva Yang
Translated by Ann Lee
Photos by Andy Lin
409-1, RenAi Rd, Sec 4 (close to the intersection of YanJi St & RenAi Rd ); (02) 2775-4800
Hours: 7 pm-3 am
Credit cards accepted. 10% service charge.
Though already a tried and true pub favorite in Europe and the U.S., darts is just starting to get a real following among locals in Taiwan. The sport is getting so popular, that entire bars like Darts Mania have opened up just to scratch the itch of people who like to throw sharp projectiles at round objects on the wall.
My first experience with Darts Mania came on a stormy Friday evening; even though it was only 8 p.m., there are already lots of people lined up, a drink in hand, darts in the other, ready to challenge their friends to a game or two
Dart Mania's owner, Tommy, is a Hong Kong native that "borrowed" his bar's name from a well-known darts bar in Japan. As a coincidence, a few of the bar's other shareholders originally hailed from the Eastern archipelago, before making the short trip south to Taiwan. With the same passion for darts, they all invested in this place about a year ago, hoping to make this sport more popular in Taiwan. Their ambitions even reach to hopefully one day helping to develop a professional darts team in Taiwan.
Ironically, Tommy has never thrown a dart in his life. When a row of electronic dart boards started lining the walls in has place, he didn't even know where to start. Because of his own lack of experience, Tommy really welcomes everyone here--new players, experts, and even people like him who have barely even seen a dart before, let alone thrown one.
For his supposed lack of experience, Tommy is a good teacher. He spent a couple minutes showing me how to hold the dart properly, where my feet should be, proper wrist movement, etc. Not long after this, I started my first official game with my friends. The best thing about darts is that, unless you are extremely competitive, it is stress-relieving. Though it is a simple game, you can feel the tension leaving your body with each release of the dart. And the fact that each game of up to three players is only NT$20-30 makes playing game after game pretty addictive.
Happy Hour at the Darts Mania is from 7 to 10 p.m. every night; a 500cc class of Orion draft beer from Okinawa is only NT$150! Ordering a plate of Sausages (NT$150) is also a great idea if you're hungry. Wednesday and Saturday nights bring competitions; these nights are usually the busiest at the bar.
As the Brits discovered a long time ago, nothing improves your darts game like a pint. The minimum charge is NT$150 per person, but that's easy to spend with tasty drinks like the Darts Mania Special Cocktail (NT$250) or Tommy's own creation, the Green Island Cocktail (NT$250). Other snacks here include their spicy Signature Pasta and rich Cream & Bacon Pasta (NT$200/each).