Young and Hungry

H Street Country Club Swings Opens Tomorrow

Because Y&H has developed a warm, personal relationship with Joe Englert, Mr. Fatlas, I mean Mr. Atlas, District invited me to a sneak-preview of the long, long, long-awaited H Street Country Club on Sunday night, and I have just one thing to say: You'll never get a tee time.

This place is going to have longer lines than Ben's Chili Bowl during the inauguration. Everyone will want to putt-putt their ball between the bloated legs of a D.C. parking meter-reader who's exposing just a little too much butt crack. Or across the Reflecting Pool and up the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial. Or between the decomposing bodies of several dead presidents. Or around a multi-car pileup on the Beltway. Or....oh, hell, you get the point. This is miniature golf as imagined by the Coen Brothers.

Come to think of it, some people might even visit H Street just to sample the Tex-Mex menu designed by Ann Cashion, founder of Taqueria Nacional. Well, maybe.

Despite my utter delight at the playfulness of H Street Country Club — and its willingness to tweak D.C. and its institutions, including the never-say-die Marion Barry — I still think the place is going to have issues. Congestion being one of them. I can foresee several spots on the upstairs playground where customers will be bumping into each other with regularity — or even poking plate runners in the face with their putters. I also think Englert better have a budget to fix those K Street lawyers on Hole No. 3 and those dead presidents on Hole No. 5 who are bound to take a severe beating from indoor duffers.

I relayed some of my thoughts to Englert during a phone call today. He was touched by my concern. He also dismissed them all out of hand, including the notion that anyone could destroy the statuary designed by artist Lee T. Wheeler, who apparently built his sculptures out of the same substance that the auto industry uses to make cars.

That subject put to rest — at least for Englert — I raised the issue of a certain gargoyle hovering over Wheeler's links-oriented version of the Washington National Cathedral. It resembles a certain nightlife mogul, but with devil horns protruding from his noggin.

"It's a recurring joke," Englert tells Y&H. Wheeler "puts some [demonic] caricature of me in all the bars I own."

So there you have it. It seems that you can now play the Joe Englert version of Where's Waldo? in every watering hole that the mogul owns. Let's begin compiling the list of demonic Englerts now, starting with this one:

More pics from H Street Country Club:

...