STAFF ONLY CLUB

Jul 2, 2019

Like most speakeasies worth their salt, the first rule of Staff Only Club was, “do not tell anyone.” But good news travels fast, and soon after opening late last year, this members-only club became Taipei’s worst-kept secret. Set against a backdrop of rickety dwellings in an unlikely corner of the Zhongsheng suburb, its team has transformed a former soy- sauce factory into a Gatsby-esque hideout, replete with plush velvet couches and copper chandeliers. The cocktail menu (presented in vintage pop-up books) focuses on elevated takes on tried-and-tested classics, and locally inspired mixtures. Signature drink Navy Club, for example, combines kaffir leaf–infused gin, house-made oleo-saccharum, peppery capsicum juice, and saline solution into a punchy drink, perfectly capturing the local palate for salty-and-sour. The list extends during the monthly “Part Time Bartender Project,” which sees the movers and shakers of Taipei’s cocktail scene whipping up their signature drinks during guest shifts. There is a strict “no card, no entry” policy, but out-of-towners can call ahead for a travelers’ pass (NT$2,000 for a week). staffonlyclub.com; cocktails from N$430.

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Like most speakeasies worth their salt, the first rule of Staff Only Club was, “do not tell anyone.” But good news travels fast, and soon after opening late last year, this members-only club became Taipei’s worst-kept secret.

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