The Underbridge (Qiáo Xià 橋下)
There’s a line in the movie Swingers in which they ask why all the cool bars in LA are difficult to find and never have a sign. The first part of the equation – difficult to find – seems true for Tainan as well. It also seems to help if the place is a converted from an old house and happens to be along the train tracks. The Underbridge fits many of these parameters. It is, as the name suggests, under a bridge and along the west side of the railway. If you never had cause to be under the bridge that spans the railway from the Fuqian-Beimen Traffic Circle to Dongmen Road, you’d never know this place exists. And yet, this place seems pretty well-known in some circles.
The Underbridge gets a good mix of locals and foreigners. Many of the locals tend to be of the young, hipster variety who show up with their Vespas and dressed in youthful streetwear.It’s a pretty male-centered crowd, but they get their share of large mixed groups in the back rooms. The lights are dim and the music varies. The big screen over the bar is often occupied by Playstation games. They have rotating artwork up on the walls. A lot of it tends to be of the young, urban variety which tends to match the theme of the place. While my description may make it sound like the place is wholly a bar for college-aged drop-outs, it is actually a pretty cool environment and comfortable for all walks of life.
The hipper bars in Tainan are all converted from houses, and The Underbridge is no exception. The front part is more like a shop-house, but the back part is a detatched-house dwelling with traditional shingles. The bar is divided up into three sections. There is the front bar, the back rooms, and the back garden. Back rooms have space for large groups. The garden might be the best in the city as far as drinking establishments go.
The menu is standard:
- beer goes for $NT100 ~ 180
- cocktails for $NT150 ~ 250
- a glass of wine is $NT200
- spirits and wine can be bought by the bottle
- light food (xiǎo chī) can be bought for $NT50 ~ 250
It opens late and stays open late.
Hours: PM21:00 ~ AM04:00
Phone: (06) 2153128
Location: No. 20 Dongmen Road (東門路) Sec. 1, West Central District, Tainan City
Here’s a picture in case you get confused while rounding Fuqian-Beimen Circle.