The mystery of the missing letters on Bastien's marquee

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The e-mail came yesterday from an East Colfax restaurateur insisting that we had to run out, like now, to snap a picture of the marquee in front of Bastien's, the antiquated steakhouse at 3501 East Colfax. "You have got to put a picture up on Cafe Society," demanded the e-mailer. Or else.

Okay, so it wasn't exactly a matter of life or death, but it was a matter of theft -- specifically the theft of several letters from Bastien's sign, which as you can see from the above photo pleading for the swindlers to stop stealing the "letter$," is in desperate need of a new alphabet.

That said, I kinda like the sign just the way it is, all jacked up with dollar symbols, numbers standing in for letters, empty spaces and especially that "J" doubling as the letter "L."  It's quirky, just like Bastien's, which opens today at 3 p.m. if you feel like stopping in for a stiff cocktail and a sugar steak.

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