The Handsome Cock Compromise on U Street

handsome_cock_bar_u_street
1334 U Street, NW

Thanks to a reader for sending an update on Handsome Cock (formerly Touchdown) above the Codmother:

“Looks like they finally found a way to compromise.”

When the bar switched names to Handsome Cock they wrote:

“Our landlord doesn’t like the name , so for a while we will have fun with this song without a proper signage. We will stand firm and sooner or later we will put our name outside.”

49 Comment

  • justinbc

    What song? Is that a typo or something? I thought they meant sign, but then they say they don’t have a sign…
    o_O

  • The name is not nearly as clever as they think it is.

  • And in the meantime, people will think this place is called Handsome.

  • brookland_rez

    I don’t see what the big deal is. Let them call it what they want. People need to not be so uptight. If business suffers because people don’t like the name, then so be it. Let the market decide.

    • Bad name, business suffers, defaults on lease, unhappy landlord…

      • brookland_rez

        And new business moves in with a better name and business model. That’s how the free market and capitalism work.

        • correct and the landlord has every right to put language in the lease to protect himself from situations like this.

        • The free market would actually mean the owner of the business could choose a name as he sees fit and which fits his business model. Then, the market would decide if the name should go or stay.

          • No, the free market would mean that the landlord says “I won’t rent to you unless you agree to my lease terms, and if you don’t like it you can go rent somewhere else.”

    • The market is deciding: the person who owns the building did not want that word (Cock) linked with their building. The renter then had to comply. They did so without changing the name, by coming up with a sign that works for their name – and by associating the word with the animal, not with their dicks (which I would bet was their attempt at har har humor).

      Everyone got what they wanted.

      • They’ve had the sign since they opened—the landlord forbade them from displaying it.

        • As is his right as landlord.

          Are they displaying it against the landlords wishes?

          Or have they reached a compromise on the use of the sign?

          • “As is his right as landlord.”
            .
            Not necessarily. It depends on the language in the commercial lease. With commercial leases, the lessee tends to have much more latitude in what they can do with the space (especially when it comes to naming and running the business and interior decor) than an individual renting a residential unit. The landlord might not have a leg to stand on in this instance.

  • I don’t know the owners (and don’t care to), and I’m hardly offended but the name, but it makes them come across as childish frat boys. (“Bro, aren’t we clever? We’re really stickin’ it to those uptight DC people, aren’t we?”)

    • justinbc

      Yeah, I’m slowly starting to get the same impression, which is a shame because I always liked Codmother as a bar.

    • Exactly – think of all the junior high boys who buy the t shirts in Ocean City emblazoned with the bar “Big Cock” logo – and they can’t even drink.

      • And the junior high boys who are avowed fans of South Carolina football. Go ‘Cocks! *eyeroll*

        • Not much different in terms of class from Duponts ‘The Big Hunt’ which has been there forever and seems to draw a big crowd.

        • I’m from South Carolina. It’s not reserved for junior high boys. Grown men, grown women all proudly yell “go cocks.” I think it wasn’t until I was 12 that I realized how weird this is…

    • to me it just seems fun.

    • +1. Sounds about right for AM.

    • I think Big Johnsons and Dirty Dicks would disagree with you.

    • I do know the owner, and I can say that he is the furthest thing from a frat boy I can imagine. The name is memorable, and there’s a great line-up wall inside with the name on it. Personally, I think the space is less ideal than Codmother’s and the food is significantly worse, but calling it childish frat boy is pretty offbase. And that quote is a parody of a parody.

  • I’m really tired of the Fairy Codmother’s “edgy” signage they place on the street and update in hopes to offend someone (same owner as Handsome Cock).

    I get it, your bar and the new bar are badasses..

  • bad name, pretentious business owner (saying we will put singage up later), great you can spell out COCK infront of your store, i am sure it will be family friendly. Hope they do poorly

    • It was never going to spell out COCK out front. The sign there was the sign they had made for them from the beginning.

    • Does it have to be family friendly? It’s a bar, no? Besides, any parent (and I am one) should be able to explain the name without too much trouble. If you can’t manage the words, how are you going to explain lots of other things?

  • What a great idea- alienate your landlord!

  • Lots of hate in this thread, but Handsome Cock does $13 pitchers. A price that cannot be beat in this city. Sure the name is a bit childish, but it’s not trying to be a fancy bar and the prices match. If you’re offended by anything they do, then don’t go. Their signs aren’t nearly as offensive as everyone is making them out to be.

    • Yep. I could care less how clever/ironic/horrible the name of the bar is. If they’re selling $13 pitchers, I’m buying.

    • Eh, haters gonna hate.
      Which is fine, more room for me at the bar while watching a match. This is around the corner from my apartment and way cheaper than Solly’s.

    • Really? Argonaut on H Street NE has $12 pitchers of their house beer. Hell, even Armand’s pizza on Cap Hill have $10.99 pitchers of Shock Top.

      • Both of which are really far from U Street. I ain’t trekking to H Street or Cap Hill to watch a game just so I can save a dollar on my pitcher. This is definitely one of the cheapest places on U Street.

  • I wonder if they have hot dogs on the menu.

  • infantile.

  • Not nearly as infantile as naming your shop ‘FCUK’ and that is an international brand.

  • Whatever. There are dozens and dozens of pubs in the UK with the word “Cock” in the name (and, yes, it’s a double-entendre there too), and no one seems to care one way or the other. It’s just a cheeky name that seems to go along with the fish and chips place below. No big deal. And as someone pointed out above, FCUK is much worse.

    • The culture regarding swear words, double entendres. etc. is totally different in the UK. I watch a lot of WETA UK and there’s a lot of swearing that gets bleeped out.
      I think the problem here is that the proprietors of the place think they’re far more clever than they actually are.

      • That might be true for some parts of the country — and it’s certainly true that the FCC has a major fear of incurring the wrath of a select few members of the morality police — but I don’t think that the culture in DC and other major cities is all that different and I’d prefer to not have to pander to the lowest, most prude common denominator when it comes to language. And if the name isn’t clever enough for you, don’t go. Not being clever enough isn’t a good reason to prohibit the name.

  • Mr.Kitty & Poes

    Simple enough: don’t like the name, don’t go there. More room for me at the bar/bars (including Codmother downstairs). Does anyone know they are getting a Pacman machine upstairs?

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