If you ever made your way to Marquee Restaurant and Lounge, located in the heart of the XinYi district and directly across from Taipei 101, we can almost guarantee that most of the locals and foreigners loungin’ don’t even know that another bar sits quietly above on the second floor.
Look carefully above next time, and you’ll spot the balcony to a cozy, classic cocktail bar called Alchemy. It’s home to one of the first Taiwanese-style speakeasies, created and opened last August by world-class bartender Angus Zou. Alchemy’s aim is to bring an “elegant drinking culture and lifestyle” to the city of Taipei and provide a “safe haven” for patrons to enjoy a cocktail or two.
As you make your way up the dimly lit staircase, you will immediately notice the ambiance change once you enter through the antique bookcase and surround yourself in luxurious 1920s-inspired décor imported from European and American countries. From an almost 100-year old Italian marble table with a slight crack to smaller antique treasures such as lamps and mini crate barrels, it will feel as if you’ve traveled back in time to someone’s cozy living room during the Prohibition era.
Alchemy allows a maximum of 55 guests, so you can expect an intimate place to catch up with friends over a carefully crafted drink. With over six years of experience at Barcode and Marquee and extensive experiences abroad in Europe, bartender Angus Zou sure knows how to meticulously mix a cocktail creation. Angus compares bartending to the ancient practice of alchemy; as such, each drink involves various base ingredients (and creativity) mixed to create a masterful end product. If you’re perusing the drinks menu, Alchemy recommends a classic for the gentlemen, an Old-Fashioned or a more creative concoction, a Misu-tini. For the classy ladies, order an Ambrosia, a sweet and sour tropical mixed drink.
Tip: No secret password just yet, but remember to make reservations at least 1-2 days in advance. Upon arrival, inform the first floor Marquee hostess of your reservation and you’ll be brought up to Alchemy.
Photos courtesy of Angus Zou and Christine Yeh
Come celebrate Lantern Festival this year with Taipei543 in your “Old Shanghai” themed outfit! Together with OD Taipei, this event will feature talented DJ Ryan Yeh (aka DJ EmpathE), some great deals for drinks, a Mahjong game, and lots of prizes! Spend your Saturday night with us at Opium Den, a newly remodeled night club in Xin Yi area.
Lust Caution: Shanghai Retro Night
Lantern Festival Celebration: Taipei543 x Opium Den Taipei
Date: 2/23 Saturday Time: 10pm-1am
Venue: Opium Den Taipei Dress Code: “Old Shanghai” style attire recommended
General Admission $550: Two drinks included
Premium Admission $900: Two Drinks and access to 3rd floor VIP area