In the northwest corner of South Africa, the Kalahari is a small patch of dry rock and red sand where meerkats roam and thirst is part of the landscape. On the corner of 20th Avenue — a hair east of Federal Highway, between Commercial and Oakland Park on 45th Street — the Kalahari Bar is a neighborhood watering hole with deep roots in the mother continent. The façade is crammed full of ornaments and plants, while the inside is filled with much of the same. Flags, T-shirts, rugby jerseys and paraphernalia, books, hats, African tribal masks (Khoikhoi and San or Bushmen, I presume), posters, and photos line the walls, shelves, and corners. There in the dusk, outlined by the one single light in the room, they're meant to remind you of daily life in Sub-Saharan Africa. During happy hour, you'll find an older crowd. Guys with gray beards and enviable tans subsist on beer and Chex Mix and conjure up images of Hemingway on a buzz. The rest of the time, the crowd is younger, though not certifiably young. Monday is "ladies night" (twofers for you women). Shack's Wednesday is one for all: $2 drafts and $7 pitchers. Thursday is Jäger night ($3 shots). Lisa's Sunday is a way to shoot free pool and pop $2 bottles. Try Castle Lager, a 113-year-old pale lager brew out of Johannesburg. Rugby monopolizes the TV screens on Saturdays (when in season). Yes, the previous owners were from South Africa — and it's obvious. The new ownership took over last June, and on Saturday, June 21, the Kalahari will celebrate with its one-year anniversary party. Oh, and by the way, you're invited.
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