Washington's Please Don't Do Coke In The Bathroom Signs

Washington DC, District of Columbia (DC)

In 2014, a Washington pub opened with a charming piece of knitware on its walls: a 'please don't do coke in the bathroom' sign. Eight years later and it has started a trend. It is now one of at least three edgy anti-coke signs on the walls of Washington's bars.

Looking for more places like this? Explore more secrets on a Washington DC Scavenger/Treasure Hunt!

Read more

The Birth Of The Please Don't Do Coke In The Bathroom Sign

2014 saw former knitting store manager, Jessica Kleinmann, open Lyman's Tavern in Washington DC's Columbia Heights. She 'wanted something cute' to hang in its bathroom. And what could be cuter than not doing cocaine?

She knitted a frilly pink circle adorned with flowers around its edges and an electric blue message at its center: 'please don't do coke in the bathroom'.

The sign was an instant hit. It turned heads, started conversations, made people wonder, 'should I or should I not be doing cocaine?'

In time all things grow old however and not doing cocaine in the bathroom is no exception. Years later and the sign had become part of furniture. In Kleinmann's words, 'no one cares anymore.'

New Pretenders On The Please Don't Do Coke In The Bathroom Sign Scene

This is not to say that cocaine, and signs related to not doing it, were themselves on the out, just that new blood was needed in ironic anti-drug game. New blood that came in the form of Jane Jane, a cocktail bar on 14th Street, and l'Ardente, an Italian restaurant on the corner of Massachusetts Av and 2nd Street.

Whereas Jane Jane opted for a revivalist knitted update of Kleinmann's classic sign, l'Ardente decided to take things in a bold new direction. Vsionaries that they were, they draped their walls in large blue neon letters.

'Please don't do coke in the bathroom'

There's was a drug-free bathroom and they wanted to people to know about it. More than that, in fact, they wanted people to know they had bathrooms full-stop. Before the sign people were having considerable trouble finding where the damned things were.

When called upon for comment the restaurants co-owner Eric Eden said, 'we wanted to make this space feel elegant, but we didn't want it to be off-putting'.

You can't help but wonder just who exactly they didn't want to put off.

Do Please Don't Do Coke In The Bathroom Signs Actually Work?

Eden went on to add that, since erecting the sign, he's actually had one customer claim not to be able to use their bathroom anymore, although he thinks they may have been joking.

Sabatier, owner of Jane Jane, goes one step further saying, 'I've found coke bags in the bathroom, sure'. And Kleinmann, godmother of the sign, had this to say on the matter: 'it's a bathroom. People are going to do things.'

So there we have it, putting up an anti-drug sign in your bathroom may discourage some people from snorting but at the end of the day it will remain a bathroom, and if it's a bathroom then people are going to do things.

Interested in finding more places like this? Try one of our DC Scavenger Hunts - untangle cryptic clues as a team, as you are taken on a journey to the most unique, unusual and bizarre corners of Washington DC.


What you need to know

Washington's Please Don't Do Coke In The Bathroom Signs
3720, 14th Street NW, Washington, DC, US
Tips before you visit