KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (TheStreet) -- Wander into the T.G.I. Friday's in the middle of Kandahar's vast military base and it's hard to believe you're in a war-torn corner of central Asia.
Nonetheless, this is no ordinary restaurant, as evidenced by the cluster of marines chilling in one of the booths, and, more ominously, the bomb shelter just a short dash away.
T.G.I. Friday's is one of around 50 businesses that make up Kandahar Boardwalk, undoubtedly one of the world's strangest retail centers. Forming a broad circle around an 8-a-side soccer field, basketball courts and a street hockey rink, the dusty, wooden Boardwalk is a thriving social and shopping hub for off-duty personnel.
In addition to the sellers of local wares such as rugs and jewelry, there's Yum Brands' (YUM) KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants and even a Nathan's Famous (NATH), giving the Boardwalk, like most of the base, a distinctly stateside feel.
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