When barman JP Sabatier would go out with friends Ralph Brabham and Drew Porterfield, he would always be that guy who orders an off-menu Corpse Reviver No. 2 or a sherry-based Adonis. “Ralph and Drew would kindly roll their eyes at me,” he says. But as Sabatier, formerly of Rappahannock Oyster Bar and Maydan, introduced the couple to more of those classics, they also became the “obnoxious people” ordering off-menu.
At the trio’s new spot Jane Jane, there’s no need to feel obnoxious. The 14th Street bar, opening today, is the kind of place that knows how to make both the familiar and obscure classics—and actually has a lot of them on menu.
“We’re not a pretentious cocktail bar. If you come in here and want to order a vodka-soda, we’re going to serve you a vodka-soda,” says Porterfield, the director of Shaw’s Long View Gallery. He and Brabham also co-own Beau Thai and BKK Cookshop.
The booklet cocktail menu, divided by spirits, features more than 30 cocktails, including a negroni, Manhattan, and martini alongside a lesser-known drinks like a rum-based Air Mail or rye whiskey 4th Regiment. Yes, there’s a Corpse Reviver No. 2 and Adonis on there too—as well as a handful of seasonal house cocktails and a couple non-alcoholic options.
The 32-seat bar has what they’re calling a “nostalgic” vibe with wood-paneling, plaid-style mosaic tiling, and retro bar shelf wallpaper. (There’s also a 14-seat patio.) The 850-square-foot space doesn’t have room for a full kitchen, so the menu is snacky. The opening offerings include a few dips—onion, creme fraiche with trout roe, and pimento cheese—plus no-fuss snacks like rosemary-cayenne nuts, marinated olives, and pickled vegetables. One or two dishes will be slightly more substantial, such as pigs in a blanket with honey-dijon dipping sauce. But overall, Jane Jane aims to be more of a destination for pre- or post-dinner (or late-night) drinks and bites.
The trio first collaborated with a boozy brunch pop-up at BKK Cookshop in 2016 called Dot’s Spot. They plan to bring some of those dishes back when they launch weekend brunch at Jane Jane in October. Buttercream Bakeshop will also supply some baked goods to go along with classic brunch cocktails.
Jane Jane is named after Brabham’s mom, whose Southern style of hospitality they hope to emulate. “She’s always ready to entertain on a dime. She just loves everybody and is just this force,” Brabham says.
Jane Jane. 1705 14th St., NW. 202-481-2166. Open Tuesday through Sunday, 5 PM to 2 AM.