At the end of this semester, Taipei American School will close the Fitness Cafe to make way for a new indoor hallway connecting the Upper School Information Commons to the new Tech Cube building. The hallway will look and function similar to the Skybridge currently connecting the B Block and D Block buildings. The Cafe might reopen to continue serving TAS students.
“If the school wants us to come back, we will come back,” says Fitness Cafe owner and server Mr. Kevin Tung.
Upper School principal Dr. Richard Hartzell confirms that TAS will likely welcome back the Fitness Cafe in the near future. “Once the connection to B Block is complete, I expect the Fitness Cafe to re-open on the same patio,” he says. “My guess is January 2019.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Tung and others working at the Fitness Cafe will move to other branches of the Fitness Cafe around Taipei, from hotels to gyms. The Fitness Cafe is actually an independent company, working with Italian ice cream and gelato business DiiTO Gelato to provide food services for organizations. After the Fitness Cafe closes, the school plans to continue providing DiiTO Gelato’s services in the Snack Bar.
The Cafe has been in operation for 10 years, serving as a popular area for those in need of an open space to study. During that time, it has served Upper School students, faculty, and staff.
Many signature meals at the Cafe are part of its “secret menu”: udon noodles in place of pasta, cheese wraps, curry, and tomato sauce, among other items. In a Blue & Gold survey of 224 respondents, over 40 percent of the students’ favorite meals were not listed on the regular menu.
Its location right next to USIC makes it a convenient option for students who look to get work done during school hours. A Blue & Gold survey saw 44 students cite its convenience and proximity to the library as its most attractive feature.
“As a middle schooler, I wanted to be in the Upper School just so I could use the Fitness Cafe,” says Catherine Lien (‘19). “It’s been a big part of the school, and I’ll miss it. I always go there to de-stress because it has the nicest smoothies and noodles.” According to the survey, other popular features of the cafe include their “friendly staff,” “delicious food,” and its location “in the outdoors.”
“I’m disappointed that such a pleasant eatery will be shutting down,” says English teacher Ms. Leslie Abernethy. “There’s no other similar place for food in TAS, and it’s nice to try something different once in awhile.”
Be sure to visit the Fitness Cafe for a last meal before it closes in December.