This isn't your father's downtown Hollywood, buddy boy. The streets are spiffy. The boutiques and eateries have gotten makeovers. And the bars — oh-ho, the bars — they have no reason to envy the smug party scene of South Beach. Anchoring this sea of change is Sauer Apple Saloon. It sits on Harrison Street angled on the southwest end of Young Circle, and on the night I visited it plays welcome wagon to the ingrates who've slept on this flourishing South Florida treasure. Well, nice to meet you; my name is Chief Ingrate. Not too long ago, the Saloon was a neighborhood bar — a hub for a beer-drinking crowd not unlikely to jump on stage during live music shows. And then there was this obsession the former owners had with apples... apple baskets, apple shots, appletinis. No more, though. The new ownership, although it has kept the name, has converted from the apple-themed faith to a stylish black-and-blue Mediterranean/Greek philosophy — a suitable alternative for partygoers with a taste for sweet nectar but not the cheese. Sauer's is an elegant, minimalist culture: White mesh curtains separate eight white couches. Four tables split the room in perfect equilibrium. The rich blue light from the projectors makes the black granite tops, walls, and ceiling glow in cold, soothing hues. The music echoes off the walls, and two big-ass LCDs hang high (and probably dangerously) over the bar, which runs the length of the house and serves the many indoor patrons and the few who weather the night heat and order outside. Come in Monday for ladies night, listen to a live DJ Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, or come when you damned well please to get twofers on house wells and bottled beer (as long as it's during happy hour, 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday).
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