I have been quietly watching this place develop for at least about 8 years. Well ahead of its time, I had really hoped that it wouldn’t go out of business before the city developed around it.
Located where the jail once was in Yilan City, now stands the main mall – Luna Plaza. Walking distance from the train station, and subtly bustling with a movie theater, outlet stores and an extensive food court. Passing the McDonalds, Starbucks, Milk House, and Mr. Doughnuts one will finally arrive at Sha Sha bar. I stand proudly in front of this establishment as it has been the only western style bar consistently located in the city in the past several years (almost since my arrival 10 years ago).
I can remember coming here years ago, when all I saw was a full stocked bar, ambition, good location, combined with empty seats, wondering if this would stand the test of time. Fast forward, I meagerly passed by, coming from the movies trying to get a snack before Black Panther started and to my surprise, it was extremely active – aggressively cat calling me to its door. I had to stop in for a drink.
With less than a 1/2 hour before the movie was set to begin, I asked my wife if she wanted a drink and perhaps to eat while we were there. Upon stepping into the establishment we were told that all of the tables and seats at the bar were full – persistently responding, “we will just stand.” A young gentleman standing at the register overheard and invited us over to drink, we chatted and joked but ultimately I politely declined.
As usual, I scanned the drink selection behind the bar while she looked at the menu – perfect combination to save time. Upon seeing that the food appeared to be far more appeasing than our alternative, she asked about the anticipated wait – 20 minutes, a bit longer than we could afford…
Nothing the prices, a bit costlier than usual, she briefly questioned our stay but was rerouted by the fact that it was date night, something that is rare for us, added bonus the night was my treat. Cocktails it is…for time vs. potency sake – Long Island Ice Tea, she experiments – Cosmopolitan. Seats opened up at the bar, we sat, talked about what we thought of the place, guzzled down the liquid and made our way back to the register to pay and as the universe has always manifested itself – things came full circle. The young man we met coming in, was standing there as we were exiting with two shots of tequila in his hand – waiting. We chatted and joked and ultimately we politely exited the establishment, heading to our movie.