Taiwan now has its first Black-owned bar and restaurant thanks to one duo.
As of lately, minorities in foreign countries with a focus on culinary practices have become the subject of research as minority travelers look to find bars, restaurants, or eateries to hang out with people who remind them of home.
It was this very practice that led Carl Junior and Patrick to create Arts and Crafts Bar & Art Gallery — Taiwan’s first Black-owned bar and restaurant.
According to Travel Noire, both Carl and Patrick have resided in Taiwan for over a decade and have witnessed first-hand, the lack of diversity in the Taiwanese hospitality industry. Now, they’ve used their experiences to create a safe space for the Black community to connect.
“It’s a place where Black people all over the island can come for good music and energy, see Black art on the walls, and enjoy craft beer and custom cocktails,” said Carl in an interview.
The mission is to make Arts and Crafts Bar & Art Gallery a second home for Black people who reside in Taiwan.
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“We want people to feel comfortable,” continued Carl. “We want it to feel like a second home and a place where you don’t have to be on edge and carry the stress of being an expat in a foreign country.”
With Black businesses being hit the hardest following the COVID-19 pandemic, the bar has exceeded expectations and remained in operation for nearly nine months, adapting and surviving the pandemic.
For Carl, that success comes from the enormous support that they’ve received from the Black community.
While working through language barriers, gaining popularity for the bar, and having people patronize them has been a challenge, Carl says the fact that he speaks both Mandarin and Taiwanese fairly well has been a huge help, even giving him more insight into the business culture of the country.
Looking ahead, Carl hopes that their bar will serve as an inspiration for others to do the same when it comes to filling the needs of the Black community.