So long pingpong and bye-bye bocce. Mini golf, the kiddie game with the little clubs and the big windmills, is the hipster sport du jour. "It'll blow it away, man," says nightlife baron Joe Englert.
Sometime next summer, Englert plans to unveil H Street Country Club, a 7,000-square-foot bar/billiards hall/mini-golf course, at 1335 H St. NE. The new nightspot will be a "grand send-off of the Chevy Chase, you know, beautiful country club," Englert says.
Talk about Englertrification.
According to Englert, H Street Country Club will be replete with "a lot of wood benches that resemble a locker room" and "a lot of plaid." The food will be all-American, no-frills "picnic" fare, and the holes will be littered with D.C. memorabilia celebrating go-go greats and bands like Fugazi. "The Positive Force hole is really amazing," he raves, adding that his eight-year-old daughter has been one of the course's chief designers.
The only question is whether Englert will need a special set of permits to make his mini-golf dreams a reality. For example, says attorney Michael Fonseca, Englert might have to get a mechanical amusement license, which, "in the old days," regulated video games and pinball machines. In D.C., everything from Pac Man to pool tables warrants a special license, he says.
Fred Moosally, general counsel for the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, says there's no precedent for establishments serving up booze and golf balls. "We don't have any miniature golf bars," he says.