Jane Jane Owners Are Opening a Cocktail Bar Near Union Market

Bar Betsie is coming this winter.

Jane Jane and Bar Betsie owners Ralph Brabham, Drew Porterfield, and JP Sabatier. Photograph by Scott Suchman .

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Bar Betsie. 1328 Fourth St., NE

Popular 14th Street cocktail bar Jane Jane is named after co-owner Ralph Brabham’s mom and reflects her Southern style of hospitality. The next bar from Brabham, his husband Drew Porterfield, and their friend and business partner JP Sabatier will be named after Sabatier’s mother, Betsie Giró. Bar Betsie, opening in the Union Market District this winter, will likewise embrace the Puerto Rican mom’s personality:

“She is the life of the party and is known for kind of raucous parties that last until dawn,” Brabham says. Or as Sabatier explains it: “If Jane Jane feels like you’re going on a school field trip, Bar Betsie should feel like you’re skipping school.” (If you’re wondering about Porterfield’s mom being left out of the bar-naming scheme, fret not. The LLC for Bar Betsie is “Also Ann.”)

This is the second bar for Brabham and Porterfield, who also own Beau Thai, and Sabatier, who previously worked at Rappahannock Oyster Bar and Maydan. The menu is still in development, but it will include around 15 cocktails, including one or two rotating on draft. Sabatier is working on a frozen riff on a Painkiller tiki drink that he’s calling “the Migraine,” which he hopes will be a signature that spans the life of the bar.

Want something to sip on while you wait for a cocktail to be made? Bar Betsie will offer “cocktail” beers and Champagne—small four-ounce pours that come out immediately. The bar will also focus more on beer and wine than Jane Jane does, with affordable options and something for everyone. There’s no particular theme, just “what we like,” Sabatier says.

The food menu will consist mostly of finger foods: “If there’s silverware, it’s no longer bar food,” Sabatier says. He believes the ultimate alcohol pairings are crispy and salty, so expect chicken bites and pork rinds air-fried to order and served with a housemade ranch. Maybe some pigs-in-a-blanket too.

Edit at Streetsense, which is behind the plaid tiling and quirky wallpaper at Jane Jane, will also design Bar Betsie. The space includes a 14-seat bar, booths, and banquette seating with colorful lighting, neon accents, mirrored walls, and a dramatic sculptural ceiling—plus an outdoor patio. And just as Jane Jane is known for displaying a sassy, rotating cross-stitch on the wall (the latest reads “Bleach blonde bad built butch body”), Bar Betsie will have its own unexpected conversation piece—but it’s secret for now.

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.