Jane Jane's stolen sign
Jane Jane's stolen sign Credit: Laura Hayes

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Update 2/8:

The loser who stole Jane Jane’s sign that reads “Please don’t do coke in the bathroom” has found their conscience. The cocktail bar’s co-owners unboxed a package from the 20037 zip code earlier today containing the cheeky embroidery. Drew Porterfield knows it’s not a copycat because the screws he used are still in the gold frame he remembers fondly. They’re moving ahead with the plan to hang a new sign depicting the contest winner’s message. It’s currently in production and the winner will be announced soon. Now that the bar will have more than one piece of art to hang, they owners are considering making the area by the bathrooms a gallery wall. This heist has a happy ending.


Some jerk ripped an embroidered sign from the wall at Jane Jane on Jan. 12. It’s the one you might have seen on social media that implores patrons: “Please don’t do coke in the bathroom.”

“Admittedly when we hung it on the wall, we expected it might get stolen,” says co-owner Drew Porterfield. “That’s why we put four screws in.” He thinks the theft might have been premeditated. “It doesn’t look like there’s damage to the drywall. I also run Longview Gallery, so I know how to hang things very well. It was hung securely to the wall.” 

Porterfield co-owns the newish Logan Circle cocktail bar with his husband Ralph Brabham and Jean Paul Sabatier. “Every small business owner would tell you we pour our entire hearts into these spaces so our initial reaction was shock,” Porterfield says. “Jane Jane is built on treating guests like we’re inviting them into our home for a cocktail, so it felt like they took something from our house.”

Jane Jane isn’t the first bar to feel this kind of frustration, and they’re unlikely to be the last. Stealing from bars is a common messed up compulsion.

But now that their wounded feelings are on the mend, the Jane Jane owners are going to have a little fun replacing their sign with something fresh. Come up with a cheeky new message and win a $200 bar tab that doesn’t expire. “Maybe, ‘Don’t do coke in the bathroom,’ is starting to feel overdone anyway,” Porterfield says.

To enter to win, follow Jane Jane on Instagram and like this post about how the contest works. Submit a message or idea for the new embroidery in the comments before 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 21. If you tag a friend in your comment, it could help your chances of securing the grand prize. If multiple people submit similar entries, the person who posted it first will be considered.

Photo of sign awaiting the winner’s caption courtesy of Jane Jane

Brian Seaman, a friend of Porterfield’s, made the stolen “don’t do coke” sign for the bar. Embroidery was his pandemic hobby. He’s agreed to make the new one with the contest winner’s message.

In the meantime, Porterfield tried his hand at embroidery to come up with a placeholder. “My mom was a big cross-stitcher and needlepoint person,” he says. “I must have messed around with it growing up. But, if you get up real close it might look like someone’s first time doing it.”

Yes, they’re flipping the bird to whoever stole their sign: 

Photo of placeholder sign courtesy of Jane Jane

Porterfield has a strategy for keeping the contest winner’s sign safe. “It’s firmly attached to the wall with screws and anchors,” he says. “There’s no way it’ll come off unless someone has a crowbar and rips half of the wall down.” Plus, he installed a camera in the back hallway.

“We didn’t think it was necessary before,” Porterfield says. “If someone wants to mess with it, we’ll have a bird’s eye view.”

Jane Jane, 1705 14th St. NW, janejanedc.com