The Pig Pen:
Still alive and grunting in Taichung
By Douglas Habecker
Translated Gillian Chang
“The Pig”. That is the usual answer when almost any foreign resident
who was in Taichung a decade ago is asked what nightlife hangout
they remember from those days. However, in a testimony to its
enduring appeal and perseverance, The Pig continues to pull foreign
and local night crawlers as one of the city’s most resilient establishments.
“The Pig” was the moniker first given to the Pig & Whistle
British-style pub when it came to this city from Taipei in
the early 1990s. With a 1996 relocation to the 7th redevelopment
zone, The Pig was renamed The Pig Pen. Since then, this sizable
place has maintained its position as a favorite nightlife
destination, even as it has gone through various renovations.
Walk into either the downstairs restaurant bar, or upstairs
disco area, and you’ll instantly experience the slightly-worn
aura that the years and thousands of customers have left behind.
The first-floor restaurant and bar maintains the faded, well-used
traditional British-style pub atmosphere, with wooden decor and
furniture, an appealingly-cluttered bar and all manner of miscellaneous
decorations, from old beer bottles to antiques and vintage plaques.
A good range of meals are served until 10 p.m., with appetizers/lighter
meals available after. Favorites include the Bavarian Pig Knuckles
(NT$400), Pork Rib & Chicken Combo (NT$500), and “Mexican
Munchies” selections like Chicken Burritos (NT$240). There are
also reasonably-priced burgers, sandwiches, pastas and pizzas
in the NT$150 to NT$300 range.
Entertainment on the first floor includes big-screen sports
and other broadcasts and live house bands from 10 p.m. on.
However, livelier pastimes are found at the big disco upstairs,
with DJs and a weekly line-up of bands like Twister and Hot
Shock. On weekends, the place is packed, particularly after
11 p.m. Additional pulls are Sunday-Tuesday/Thursday NT$300
all-you-can-drink nights, and Wednesday Ladies Nights. Normal
cover charge is NT$300 (NT$400 Fridays/Saturdays), but foreigners
get in free Fridays and for half-price on Saturdays. The Pig
has a total of five bars (including one outside) serving all
manner of beers, wines, cocktails and spirits for NT$150 to
NT$250 per drink.
With its tried-but-true combination of food, music, dancing and
atmosphere, there’s little reason to doubt that The Pig will
be welcoming patrons for many years to come.