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FYI SOUTH Magazine, June 2003. VOL.3 ISSUE 6

No weapons, only friendship, at the Armory

By Steven Crook

     The Armory--so named because it backs onto what used to be a large military base--is a Tainan institution.

     Opened five-and-a-half years ago, this bar has evolved from being mainly a foreigner hang-out to a place immensely popular with both expats and young locals.

     Much of the Armory's popularity can be attributed to owner DuMei, who--in addition to being approachable and easygoing--sponsors a range of cultural activities, from soccer to photography exhibitions to radio programs.

     Recently, DuMei helped launch BUNK magazine, which features the poetry and photography of several Armory regulars. BUNK is available free from the bar.

    Many events are held in the Armory itself, often on the first floor. Live musicians (Nicole Darcy, Unfinished, and others) and DJs occasionally perform here.

     But on most evenings, much of the action happens around the bar on the second floor, which is reached by climbing a distinctive yellow spiral staircase.

     The bar offers a decent range of beers, spirits and mixed drinks. Almost every item is priced between NT$100 and NT$150.

     Sections of wall have been graffitied by customers. For those who want to read something more intellectually demanding, there's a stack of National Geographic magazines. DuMei is an enthusiastic traveler with a special interest in Tibet.

    Those who prefer less noise and more fresh air can sit away from the bar, near one of the large open windows. There's also some seating in the leafy frontyard.

     Wherever you sit, you could find yourself beside a foreign English teacher, a Taiwanese college student, or an artist passing through town. The Armory attracts all sorts; the regulars wouldn't have it any other way.

- Armory
82, GungYuan (Kung Yuan) S. Rd.
(06) 226-5800
www.armorygallery.com


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