Witch House, a popular pub and restaurant/live music venue in Taipei that attracted public attention recently after announcing it would close, will continue operating, the Taipei City Government said yesterday, as officials promised to devote more effort to encourage live house and other cultural establishments in Taipei.
The pub was scheduled to close down at the end of this month after owner Peng Yu-ching (彭郁晶) said last week that complaints from neighbors about the noise and the city’s extensive inspections of live house venues prompted her to shut down the business.
The city’s announcement came amid growing concerns from music lovers about its crackdown on live houses around the city. Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday denied taking any action to repress pubs or live houses and promised to revise regulations to legalize the operation of live houses in residential areas.
Current municipal regulations on land use and limitation ban the establishment of pubs in residential areas. Hau said the city would revise the regulations and allow restaurant/live houses such as the Witch House to operate legally, and would assist existing businesses to comply with fire safety and noise rules.
Peng had not answered her telephone or made any statement on the latest developments as of press time.
Witch House, established in 1996 in an alley in the Gongguan (公館) area, was the birthplace for many indie and pop acts, including Cheer Chen (陳綺貞) and Deserts Chang (張懸), and has remained a hotspot for live performances in the city.