Taikoo – Retro Bar and Furniture
Taikoo (Tài Gǔ Bǎihuòdiàn 太古百貨店)
Retro bars are becoming a popular trend in Tainan. This one falls on Shennong Street, an arts street where many of Tainan’s oldest surviving houses have been re-ferbished. This bar is built into one of them near the intersection of Kang-le Street. Subtitling itself Mid Century, this bar aims at reviving the 50s through the 70s (mostly the 70s) in pop culture and furniture. They also make a side business at selling “the finest re-issues of modern furniture classics from Northern Europe and Germany.” The furniture for sale is housed in a rear building behind the courtyard.
The bar is divided in style between the first and second floor. While the first floor is bright and retro-modern with kitsch decorations featuring Disney characters, the second floor aims to recreate a nostalgic home experience. In my opinion, it is the upstairs that is something special. Tucked up into the rafters, you get hardwood floors, fading wallpaper, and old window panes. There’s some nice furniture pieces as well, and the music adds to the time warp. Pop music from the bygone era pours into good acoustic space from a restored stereo system. There are great balconies on either side of the room, looking out over either the courtyard or straight onto Shennong Street. If you’re exploring Shennong Street or the Five Channels Cultural Zone, a visit to this pub is a great way to get inside and see how these traditional houses were built.
The bar has a limited menu with only light fare (french fries) for food. It promotes a good selection of beer, however, furthering the popular trend in Taiwan to drink Belgian beers and lambics. Beers cost a bit more here, but this is more the kind of place you come for a drink or two, and not really a place to get sloshed.
Hours: Mon – Thurs 18:00 – 02:00; Fri – Sun 16:00 – 3:00
Location: No.94 Shennong St, Tainan City, Taiwan