Luguo Café @ ArtYard, Taipei

Sometimes the past has to be forgotten for a bit before we remember its worth.

Located in Dadaocheng, once a major trading port in Taiwan, the A.S. Watson & Co building (named after the pharmacy it used to house, the first Watson’s on the island) is a vanguard of the historical neighbourhood. Nearby are the Yongle Market, famous for the fabric stalls (all that remains the former centre of the island’s textile industry) and Dihua Street’s busy shops selling Chinese medicinal herbs, incense and Taiwanese tea.

But it’s not tea that we come here for.

When this almost century-old colonial-era building was gutted by fire in 1998, it stood empty for almost a decade before it was revived as ArtYard, a cultural collective that melds old and new in the form of small, local businesses including ceramics maker Hakka Blue, fabric designers inBloom, and the artisanal café Luguo.

The café is discreetly located on the second floor, so customers may sip their coffee away from the bustle of the busy streets below. The ambiance is neither cutesy (typical of the fashionable cafés young Taiwanese girls adore) nor hipster-ish (typical of the industrial chic young Taiwanese bohemians favour).

No, this coffee bar is more like a classy slice of past served in the form of antique lamps, worn typewriters, vinyl records and comfortable rattan chairs. You can savour its very vintage in the air and the silence.

The coffee is carefully brewed; the origin and flavours of the beans explained with precision and pleasure. Other customers allow you your space; they are in a world of their own too, these Taiwanese grandmothers and Japanese ladies and café-hoppers from other lands like the two of us. Everyone has found their own private sanctuary here in Luguo Café.

Truly from the ashes of history, a fresh brew rises. And what a good brew it is too.

因為咖啡,我們來到了大稻埕這個歷史文化街區。
要尋找的是一棟百年老建築–屈臣氏大藥房。
這屈臣氏大藥房是臺灣最早的西藥房,1998年時曾被大火吞噬,
修復重建后變成了藝術文化氣息濃厚的小藝埕。
而爐鍋咖啡就位於小藝埕的二樓。
推開大門,有質感的木桌椅、復古味的沙發、老木櫥、舊打字機;
即不標新立異,也不濃妝豔抹的譁衆取寵,
就那麼自自然然的,交織出一種電影里老臺北的感覺。
靜謐的咖啡館與樓下熱鬧的迪化街截然兩個世界。

選了一個靠窗的位子,點了兩杯淺焙的單品咖啡。
咖啡師專注的煮著咖啡;而馬少一如往常般涂塗寫寫,
我則靜靜的四處瀏覽,試圖將當下的這份感覺定格。
咖啡來了,就著咖啡香,我們有一搭沒一搭的聊著,
忽然拿起相機,要馬少擺個姿勢讓我拍,
拍完了,把相機交給他,要他也為我拍張照;
可是拍來拍去,總是不對。
算了,還是喝咖啡。
那凉了的咖啡,酸得更對味,
對,我就是喜歡那種酸的牙齒發麻的感覺。


Luguo Café @ ArtYard
1, Ln 32, Dihua St Sec 1, Taipei City
Tue-Sun 11am-7pm / Mon closed
+886-2-2552-1321
www.artyard.tw/29200377072165421857-luguo-cafe.html

7 thoughts on “Luguo Café @ ArtYard, Taipei

  1. it’s interesting to imagine, someday when this cafe too closes and becomes a part of history, what will stand here in 2050, 2080, 2120. hopefully it’ll be something that some travellers will write home about too 🙂

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