When fully operational, “Betty Danger’s Country Club,” described as a “country club on crack,” will feature a 65-foot Ferris wheel as a “vertically revolving patio,” pink fireplaces and an outdoor mini-golf course lined with plastic animals. Memberships will be sold and “Mexampton” cuisine will highlight the menu.
If you can’t join ’em, beat ’em. Such is the philosophy, the Minneapolis (Minn.) Star-Tribune reported, behind “Betty Danger’s Country Club,” the latest venture from that city’s “left-brained restaurateur,” Leslie Bock.
A few years ago, the Star-Tribune reported, Bock, the eccentric owner of other Twin Cities establishments that include Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge, Donny Dirk’s Zombie Den and Uptown tattoo shop Saint Sabrina’s, got the itch to take up golf. Bock may not have known a double eagle from a birdie, she told the Star-Tribune, but figured she would enjoy “drinking beer on the big, rolling grass.”
Admittedly self-conscious, Bock told the Star-Tribune that she sought to join (an unnamed) country club to learn golf from its private instructor. But her application was denied, she said.
“They said they reject people because of two reasons: the inability to afford it, and the quality of your character,” Bock said, still sounding a little hurt. “Then I decided that wasn’t that cool. I was very confused and didn’t really know what that meant.”
But while the snub stung, it also spurred the concept for Betty Danger’s — what Bock describes as her new “country club on crack” that has opened on the site of an old car wash and the original Psycho Suzi’s in northeast Minneapolis.
The 200-seat restaurant and bar is like “a bizarro golf and country club for the 99 percent,” Bock told the Star-Tribune.
“I don’t think a certain group of people necessarily needs to own preppy, or education or own a lot of the things that come with that life,” she said. “Ours is better because we have plastic animals and vertically revolving patios and pink fireplaces.”
That “vertically revolving patio” will actually be a 65-foot Ferris wheel, the Star-Tribune reported, which will loom over the 19,000-sq.-ft. plot with pink lights, to make that part of Minneapolis’ Marshall Street look like a midway.
The plastic animals will line an outdoor mini-golf course that will be dubbed the Monetary Correction Golf Course with 8 ½ holes that will follow a narrative Bock dreamed up and “end with a middle-class victory.”
“I don’t want to call it art, because it’s not that great,” she explained to the Star-Tribune. “But it’s interpretive and I want people to figure it out for themselves. It asks more questions than it answers.
“I hope people will see it as thought-provoking, but if they see it as just playing golf, that’s fine,” she added. “Have some beer, play some golf, enjoy the sunshine.”
Neither the links nor the carnival-style attraction will open until spring, but once the Ferris wheel is rewired it will run year-round, with winter riders offered hot drinks and blankets, the Star-Tribune reported.
Once everything is in place, memberships for “Betty Danger’s CC” will be made available, with those who sign up scoring unlimited golfing, butt-the-line privileges and lockers for wine, growlers, expensive cigars or whatever.
For now, the Star-Tribune reported, guests can settle into the astro-turfed four-season front porch that is billed as the Garden Room and houses the pink fireplace, the 26-seat bar, or the main dining room, called the Library, which has a raised section lined with intentionally tacky equestrian wallpaper.
Servers in these rooms “wear prep-school attire as they plop menus, tucked inside preppy lifestyle books, on doily-ornamented tables,” the Star-Tribune reported. Taxidermy animal heads on the wall and above a less-loud fireplace preside “over the comfortably kitschy room in which you could seat grandpa with a straight face — until he spots the four-letter word on the wine list.”
The establishment features “Mexampton” food described as “a whimsical mashup of Mexican cuisine and assorted comfort dishes,” ranging from jalapeño mac ’n’ cheese to grilled and stuffed tortilla sandwiches.
“It’s not Mexican and it’s not Tex-Mex. It’s ‘Mexampton,’ which is different,” Bock proclaimed. “Way more calories.”
Entrees (about $10-$15) include Edward’s Lasagna — a pasta-stacked brick of braised beef and cheesy excess — that “certainly throw weight-loss resolutions under the golf cart,” the Star-Tribune reported. There’s also the “fortifying Minne-Mex Pot Pie—a pastry-capped mess of braised chicken, vegetables and a thick, rich gravy that’s satisfying even if it won’t win foodies’ hearts.” A popular menu item from Psycho Suzi’s—gooey Mitsy’s Mex Rolls, a deep-fried staple stuffed with spiced chicken, black beans and pepper jack—has been transplanted to Betty’s “hors d’oeuvres” roster, alongside cast-iron shrimp and South-of-the-border bar snacks.
The drinks list at Betty Danger’s features a handful of margaritas — the common man’s martini — including the Dartmouth, with muddled fresno peppers and cucumber.
Like nearby Psycho Suzi’s, Betty Danger’s should become a destination restaurant for metro dwellers this summer, the Star-Tribune predicted. Come warmer weather, garage doors will open up the bar and the pastel-hued Garden Room, so patrons can roam the different areas. And for a buck, a “Tiki Tram” will shuttle bargoers between Betty’s, Psycho Suzi’s and the zombie-themed Donny Dirk’s during the summer surge.
As the third in Bock’s “Addams Family”-esque trio of bars, the Star-Tribune concluded, Betty Danger’s is the most ambitious and over-the-top.
“There’s a lot of internal pressure for me personally,” Bock told the Star-Tribune, when asked if she were trying to outdo herself. “If I ever get crazy enough to do another project, which I’m not going to, somebody should shoot me.”