It’s hard to read in the picture above, which I snapped yesterday, but underneath the H Street Country Club logo, there’s a small oval sign that reads: established 2008.

I have just one response: Ha!

More than two months into 2009, the H Street CC is still more of a construction site than the Atlas District’s latest adult playground. What gives?

According to owner Joe Englert, it’s more of the same bureaucratic red tape. It seems that the District has toughened its sprinkler system requirements, which will force Englert to rip up the street and install a wider pipe to carry water to his establishment. He also needs to build a special utility closet and install a new drain at H Street CC.

All he needs now are the permits, which apparently haven’t been easy to secure. “It’s just endless reams of bullshit,” says a clearly frustrated Englert.

But once he does have all the permits in hand, Englert says the work will move quickly. He expects to start and finish within a few days.

So when will the place actually open for miniature golf and Mexican bites?

“Before your 60th birthday, Carman, I’m banking on it,” Englert howls.

Seriously, dude, when?

Unless there are more bureaucratic delays, Englert expects to finish all the necessary work in a couple of weeks. The invites are already printed and ready to ship, he says. All he needs to do is add a date. Englert is hoping that date will be a day near the end of March.

So what about the sign? Will you change it?

“No,” Englert says, then reconsiders. He has a better idea for an established date:

“First [had] idea in 2004.”