2018 Primetime Emmy
& James Beard Award Winner

R&K Essentials: Zoo Lake Bowls Club

WHAT TO DRINK: Beer at the Zoo Lake Bowls Club

There are few places in Johannesburg you can get good beer and food on the cheap and where people from all walks of life feel welcome. So it’s no wonder that when the Zoo Lake Bowls Club in Zoo Lake Park closed in 2014, it sent the residents of Johannesburg into a furor. Conspiracies blossomed on Facebook. People blamed the closure of Parkview’s beloved eighty-year-old institution on corrupt local politicians and the Johannesburg Property Company. The bowling club’s closure left a gaping hole in the fabric of the community it used to serve. Luckily for them, and for you, the club re-opened in 2017.

After its messianic resurrection, Zoo Lake Bowls has once again become one of the neighborhood’s favorite gathering spaces. It’s the kind of place where you can run into every kind of Joburg resident and make new friends over cheap, cold beer, tasty food, and a game of bowls. Their two-liter Castle draught will set you back less than R100 (US$7). If you’re not the sports-playing kind, just sit back, sip your beer, and watch a game or two on the big projection screen or on the bowling green. It’s also worth staying into the evening to watch the sunset over the park. In the meantime, you won’t be bored.

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