To get a sense of The Greene Turtle's commitment to the neighborhood, one need only sit at the bar and look up. Dozens of mugs hang above the counter, emblazoned with the pub's logo and a unique number—each one belongs to a recurring patron. The Mug Club awards its members with draft-beer discounts and other specials, but more importantly, it allows loyal patrons to feel as though they own small slices of the venue without tattooing their names on the bartender's arm. This sense of shared familiarity is what fuels the entire franchise, which refrains from calling its locations "restaurants" in favor of friendlier terms: gathering places, communities, havens.
Many of the locations contribute more than mugs to their districts. Staff members who participate in the annual Tips for Tots program donate the entirety of one day's tips to a nearby Toys for Tots initiative, and Tuesday Funds for Friends events benefit local organizations. These efforts have been chronicled by press sources such as Food and Drink magazine, with features that liken The Greene Turtles' philanthropic generosity to the generous portions of comfort food that leave the kitchens.
From cheeseburger sliders and flatbread pizzas to handmade lump-crab cakes, the offerings on the menu embrace barroom traditions along with ingenuity. The steak and chicken entrees arrive with classic sides of green beans and yukon gold mashed potatoes, whereas the eastern shore mac ‘n’ cheese updates a comfort staple with chopped bacon, lump crab, scallions, and Old Bay seasoning. Diners can enjoy their meals by the glow of private flat-screen TVs—there's one in every booth—or beneath one of many larger televisions broadcasting sports games throughout the venue.
Augustine Golf Club's award-winning course was sculpted to reflect its natural beauty with its distinctive par 4s sculpted by course architect, Rick Jacobson. Although the greens at Augustine declined for a few years, recent renovations have restored the course to its former glory, once again luring golfers to its babbling streams and forest. Farther north, rivals Augustine's sister course, Raspberry Falls. Course architect Gary Player remarked that the Falls, once an 18th-century plantation, “was made for a golf course.” Inspired by this ideal setting, he dreamed up the links-style course at Raspberry Falls Golf & Hunt Club, whose meandering brooks, stone walls, and stacked-sod bunkers evoke Scotland, while its vista of the Catoctin Mountains remind players they’re in Virginia.
These golf havens have more than picturesque views in common—they are two of six award-winning courses united by Raspberry Golf Management’s portfolio, which stretches from Virginia to Pennsylvania and skips over to Arizona. Gary Player’s design team for Raspberry Falls included Tim Freeland, who went on to design two of the firm’s other courses: Royal Manchester Golf Links, whose bentgrass fairways sidle up to the Susquehanna River, and Old Hickory Golf Club, a parkland-style course crisscrossed by Beaver Creek. The management company's other gems include The Legacy Golf Resort, where cowboys used to ride their rocking horses around a 7,500-acre ranch, and Bull Run Golf Club, which sprawls across more than 450 acres of meadows and woodlands at the foot of the Bull Run Mountains.
CEO Peter Harvey believes that a quality gym staff must demonstrate more than technical expertise. "Service doesn't only mean showing someone how to do an arm curl," he says. Certified personal trainers develop workouts that zero in on each person?s specific goals, giving clients the skills to pole-vault over impassable plateaus. By steadfastly refusing to hand out fish in favor of putting on master classes in fishing, they help clients become self-sufficient, educating them on fundamentals.
During these one-on-one sessions, and in solo workouts, guests set calories ablaze atop rows of continually updated equipment. Treadmills, recumbent bikes, and strength-training tools line the walls.
Members can also drop in for as many group classes as they can muster. Inside a separate studio, stationary cycles whir in time with galvanizing music, kickboxing strikes arc through the air, and barbells rise with each BodyPump rep. For more meditative practices, Pilates sessions and several types of yoga enhance flexibility and focus.
A 2,000-year-old game from Asia. An Argentinean polo player. A farm in northern Virginia. What may seem like the openings to three different stories is actually the description of one place: Middleburg Polo Academy. The scenic farm ground originally set the scene to a polo boarding and training facility by seasoned polo player Daniel Tognini and his wife, Ilene. These grounds morphed into an academy in 2007, thanks to the Tognini children, who had become enraptured with polo and the eponymous collared shirts the horses wore. Striving to inspire other youths with the game he first mastered in his native Argentina, Tognini fills Middleburg?s calendar with classes, camps, and private tutorials, teaching the history of polo and techniques to help students eventually compete in the sport.
Along with Middleburg Polo Academy, Daniel runs Amigos Outback Adventure and specializes in rustic outdoor activities. Families gather together to enjoy authentic adventures such as trail rides, canoe and river boat trips, and outdoor wine tastings.
More than 10,000 students have honed their dance stylings in the Loudoun School of Ballet’s 6,000-square-foot dance facility, their steps echoing through three studios equipped with Marley floors and acoustic ceilings. The school’s graduates have gone on to careers at professional companies and on Broadway thanks to a rigorous year-round training program that starts as early as preschool. The studio's accredited and award-winning instructors sometimes get an assist from guest talent, who encourage upper-level pupils' artistic growth without filling their ballet slippers with fertilizer.
The studio also hosts an adult program geared more toward developing fitness than professional dance careers. Ballet, jazz, and tap courses grant students poise and the ability to conceal cheat sheets of dance tips in their leotards, and fitness courses and Zumba’s easy-to-follow Latin dance moves burn calories and raise heart rates.
Though the name might insinuate otherwise, The Beer Joint actually specializes in three things: burgers, bourbon, and, yes, beer. They have so many varietals of the latter two, that all the drinks are divided into three profiles. For bourbon, that's traditional, high-wheat, and high-rye; for beer that's blonds, reds, and bolds, all of which are brewed in the pub's onsite brewery. The burgers are equally varied, and not just in the way of toppings. Some, like the All-American, layer tomatoes, onions, and cheese between sesame-seed buns. Others, like an octogenarian who can slam dunk, are bit more unexpected, like meatball-style sliders on toasted bread, or full-size patties bulked up with suet (beef fat) or Japanese beef. And for those who crave something a little different, The Beer Joint also offers up ribs, wings, and beer-battered mozzarella cheese sticks,