We have all heard the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. Looks can be deceiving, especially after first glance. First impressions can help us make our minds about something or someone in an instant.
Living or working in Oakland Park, and using Prospect as a way to get around, you may have passed by The Boar’s Nest Saloon time after time. Located at 381 Prospect Road, The Boar’s Nest Saloon sits on a lot often occupied by cars that belong to locals who want to unwind after a hard day’s work. But, at first glance, one may write it off as a rough and tough biker bar because on their lot, alongside all the cars, there may be lots of motorcycles.
The Boar’s Nest Saloon is so much more than a biker bar! It is a place where blue collar workers: plumbers, carpenters, lawyers, and attorneys, will come to decompress from the workday. It is a place with a family within it.
Upon entering, the smiles welcome you and ask how they can help you. Hospitality is not lost on the staff of the Boar’s Nest Saloon. The owner, Dan Fasciana, is equally – if not more – welcoming. Speaking about his bar, one can feel the passion in which he believes in his work and place. Dan says, “I think the name is deceiving as a biker bar than we really are because we cater to all. We have a football package. If anything, we are more of a sports bar than anything. I feel like the people that come here have 3 homes: their house, their job, and here, their local tavern”.
The name came from Dan himself and inspired by “The Dukes of Hazzard” TV series. It was Dan’s inspiration from watching and being a fan of the show. It was a nod to the show since in the series, the local bar was called Boar’s Nest Saloon.
His location opened in 1999 and he fully took over management in 2002. The previous owner had gone out of business and Dan came in and literally resurrected the bar and turned it into what it is today. Though it is not strictly or advertised as a biker bar, The Boar’s Nest is a safe haven for all walks of life no matter the background, profession, or lifestyle. It is also a place where bikers are welcome and that is where at first glance, one might think “Oh it’s just a biker bar”, and avoid it altogether.
Bikers have gotten a bad reputation due to the notorious strictly Biker gangs that one may have heard of. But there are Biker Clubs that do so many great things for the community. Dan hosts a Biker Appreciation Day, once a month, which happens every last Saturday of the month. The Biker clubs come out and the bar has live music and offers free food while the crowd enjoys live music. Some menu items can be barbecue meal, sausage and peppers, a pig on the grill out back, or whatever is the special that day. This day is not just for bikers, but for all the locals that can come out. The event lasts from 4-8pm.
The Coronavirus pandemic absolutely affected The Boar’s Nest Saloon in every aspect. Not only were they completely shut down for 2, nearly 3 months, but Dan was still responsible to meet the bills, mortgage, and cost of maintenance. Money was pouring out while none was coming in. When he was able to reopen, everything inside changed as well.
Now, unable to use glassware, Dan is faced with the added expense of buying plastic cups for drinks or shots, and they run out pretty quickly. He invested in hand sanitizing stations and extra cleaning supplies and measures to keep in accordance with CDC guidelines. Their expenses went up and their monies went down, and Dan went into survival mode.
The tables were limited to every other table and he turned a pool table into a dining table that provided more distance for the people who sit there. The business is at 50% now which is money he is not making. His bar has been visited by BSO and CDC officials to make sure he is complying, and it shows evidence of social distancing and utmost cleanliness and patrons were in fact following social distancing guidelines. If you search old pictures online, you can see what a family environment it really is. You can see happier, pre-Covid days.
Mr. Fasciana would like the public to know that looks can be deceiving, and The Boar’s Nest Saloon is a safe space for all and that they are not a strictly biker bar. He asks that people come and give them a chance and see that like so many people, he has a family within his bar walls, and he is surrounded by good, honest people. One can think of it as the “gentle giant” of bars; it may look rough and intimidating on the outside, but inside, it’s nothing like the sort.
He does support biker events because they do so much for the community especially children. Looking ahead, Dan is enthusiastic about the Toys for Tots Run. There is also Poker Run, which brings in money for children. This event is usually held in December and includes three stops, the Boar’s Nest being one of the three stops. Dan assures the public: “Don’t be afraid by the name or misconceive us as a hard, rough neck bar. These people here are all great! They’re good, family people – just really great people that I’ve met in the last 20 years. We are just a big family here and we all look out for each other”. He further explains how responsible his clients are. The clients that live close by, will take Lyft or Uber and there will be 6 or 7 people inside, but one car on the lot.
Dan’s wish is for people to know that The Boar’s Nest is more than meets the eye. For over 21 years Dan has nurtured his business and welcomed one and all. If you need a place to unwind and have an adult beverage and watch some football, give The Boar’s Nest Saloon a chance. Maybe they’ll change your mind if you weren’t sure about it before!
Anamaria Moreno is an Elementary school teacher. Born in Costa Rica, but mostly raised in Venezuela, Ms. Moreno came to South Florida in 1996 where she has resided ever since. She graduated from Lynn University, with a degree in Early Childhood Education. She has taught in the classroom for 18 years, most recently teaching the first grade for the past seven years. Before becoming a teacher, Ms. Moreno was involved in volunteer work with the Child Life Specialists Department at Miami Children’s Hospital. She also served as member of the Board of Directors for “A Caring Pregnancy Center” in Miami. Most recently, Ms. Moreno has taught at an elementary school in Oakland Park. Ms. Moreno also teaches ESOL to Adults in Night School. When Ms. Moreno is not in the classroom, she enjoys baking custom specialty cakes, face painting, and enjoys creating Arts and Crafts.