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FYI SOUTH Magazine, December 2004.



92, SinMei (ShinMei) St., Tainan City
0938-301-800 (for A-min )
ours : 9 pm-2 am (Mon-Thur) 9 pm-3 am (Fri, Sat, Sun, holidays)


In the center of Tainan, there's an old Japanese-style two-floor building with a cobbled entrance, vines, and a pond full of fish. Seeing the exterior, you might wonder what's inside. But don't bother knocking on the door in the daytime. SUCK, a one-of-a-kind lounge bar, only comes to life late in the evening.

Inside there's a big screen which often shows episodes of "Sex and the City." You'll likely meet the manager, A-min, who used to be a costume designer, and who dresses in an avant-garde style. According to bartender Ugo, during the day A-min looks likes other middle-aged men. "But don't let him know I told you this!" Ugo adds.

Most of SUCK's regular customers are old friends of the boss and the staff. This place has a relaxing ambiance. While chatting and sipping mixed drinks, you can lean on couches surrounded by half-transparent lambrequin.

The boss of SUCK, Kelvin, was once opera director of the National Symphony Orchestra. He leads the Cheng Dong Musical Troupe, which holds a salon concert here every Saturday from 8 pm to 9 pm (NT$300 cover charge per person; includes a free cocktail). During the intervals between each performance, musicians interact with the audience, and listen to their opinions in the hope of winning wider acceptance.

Since SUCK's opening, there have been soprano/tenor solos, string quartets, and choral performances. Such performances are intended to promote the spirit of salon music in Taiwan. Some famous artists who are friends with the owners show up here occasionally.

The minimum charge goes from NT$150. Bartender Ugo's special is a fruit cocktail, made with fresh fruits. Drinks are priced from NT$200 to NT$300. If you happen to be watching "Sex and the City" at the bar, why not ask Ugo for a crimson glass of Cosmopolitan--Samantha's favorite.


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