Among the foreign community in Taipei, word of mouth has given The Shannon, which had its soft opening last Friday, about the best kind of publicity an establishment could desire. Located next door to the long-established Dan Ryan's and entering into direct competition with Taipei's only other "authentic" Irish establishment, Sean's at the Westin Hotel, it was hardly surprising that The Shannon was packing them in minutes after it opened its doors for the first time.
At the end of its first night, as many as 600 people were estimated to have passed through the restaurant's doors. Despite the crowds, there were some adverse comments, ranging from watery Guinness to clueless staff and tacky furnishings. But plenty of others where willing to give it another chance.
"We are not TGI Friday's nor any kind of chain like that, said Alan Duffy, the lead consultant for the Irish-themed establishment. "We don't have the ability to do a month's training behind closed doors." He put his trust in the enthusiasm of the staff and the occasional complementary drink until things settle down. "We are still pretty much a baby," he added.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE SHANNON
The draft Guinness, a big draw for many, comes a bit rich at NT$230 plus 10 percent service charge for the pint, but Duffy shrugged this off, saying that even at this price he's close to losing money on the stuff but Guinness and Kilkenny (NT$220 per pint), the establishment's other Irish draft, are an integral part of The Shannon's concept. "And we are not forcing the stuff down anyone's throat," he added. The Carlsburg draft (NT$170) and the good range of bottled beers (NT$150) are sold pretty much at market rates.
The Shannon has a large menu which spans pub classics such as beef and Guinness pie, to elegantly presented starters such as smoked salmon on thinly sliced toast. The emphasis on hearty meals -- door-stop sandwiches (NT$300 and up) and the like -- is rather reminiscent of its Chicago-themed neighbor. Dishes such as the Limerick Caesar are a great endorsement of US-Irish relations and one really doesn't know what to think about Irish lasagna. Certainly, the Irish stew that was served to the ladies and gents of the press at yesterday's press lunch fitted the hearty meals bill, with big chunks and potato and carrot, and there was no stinting on the lamb, even if it was a touch bland.
But for the moment, Duffy sees The Shannon primarily as a "meeting place," where people will come for a few drinks before moving on. Its four separate seating areas, one themed for the Celtic revival, one for the traditional Irish shop and yet another a more ornate Victorian-style lounge, in addition to the bar itself, gives drinkers and diners a selection of spaces in which to get comfortable. The restaurant will officially launch on Sept. 12 but is already open for business.
IN 2002 Thomas Hertog received an e-mail summoning him to the office of his mentor Stephen Hawking. The young researcher rushed to Hawking’s room at Cambridge. “His eyes were radiant with excitement,” Hertog recalls. Typing on the computer-controlled voice system that allowed the cosmologist to communicate, Hawking announced: “I have changed my mind. My book, A Brief History of Time, is written from the wrong perspective.” Thus one of the biggest-selling scientific books in publishing history, with worldwide sales credited at more than 10 million, was consigned to the waste bin by its own author. Hawking and Hertog then began working on
It’s a fairly common scenario: A property has been foreclosed and sold at auction on behalf of a bank, but it remains occupied. The former owner may be refusing to leave, because he has nowhere else to go. Humans or animals may be squatting inside. Or — and this happens often enough that many foreclosure specialists have come across it — the stay-ons are gods. On June 1, 2020, ETToday reported on one such case in New Taipei City. Following the sale of a foreclosed apartment in Sinjhuang District (新莊), a second auction, to dispose of movable items left inside, was
Last week Vice President William Lai (賴清德) announced that he would be a candidate in the party’s presidential primary. As Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman, Lai is widely understood to have the inside track on the presidential nomination. Lai’s comments consisted of the usual DPP noise in national elections, focusing on China. “We must be united to strengthen Taiwan, stick to the democratic camp and ensure Taiwan’s security” in the face of increased Chinese “saber rattling” and “unscrupulous diplomatic bullying,” he said. He also made a vague nod to the economy, the environment (green energy) and supply chains. Whenever his name is
March 20 to March 26 In their haste to retreat from Taiwan in 1945, the Japanese army left behind a cache of baseball equipment at the Shuinan Air Base (水湳空軍基地) in Taichung. They didn’t expect it to beget a legendary baseball coach who decades later would win numerous world championships. Before he became the “Iron-blooded Drillmaster” (鐵血教官), Tseng Chi-en (曾紀恩) was just a propeller technician who didn’t want the equipment to go to waste. Although of diminutive stature, he was an accomplished athlete known for his fiery temper and fighting prowess. One of the