A few weeks ago, Dave celebrated his birthday with a fun night out on the town, taking in a show at the Lied Center, visiting fellow downtown bar John Brown Underground and then, of course, partying at the Sandbar into the early hours of the morning. He probably even danced on the bar.

It was a great birthday, until he realized that some joker had stolen the shark board photo-opp that resides outside the door.

Even worse, it happened right on our watch: the bar was open at the time, but the doorman (who will remain nameless) had stepped away and it was one of those rare times that no one was in line.

Sandbar shark board
Happy birthday, Dave.

The news spread quickly the next day, thanks to the power of social media. The local paper even covered the theft; our apologies to Sgt. Myrone Grady of the police department, who had the unfortunate task of responding to the LJW’s request for information about the shenanigans. We hope you have a good sense of humor, sir. If it makes you feel any better, I insisted that Dave file a police report; he seemed reluctant to report something seemingly so silly.

We drove the alleys of downtown Lawrence, hoping the thief was lazy enough to drop it off behind a dumpster, but no luck.

We hoped pictures would surface on Facebook; after all, the board’s pretty big and hard to hide, and what are you going to do with it, if not take pictures of it and with it? But nothing turned up.

Time passed, and we thought we’d never see our beloved board again. You probably don’t know this, but Dave and Justin, our art director-turned-bartender, toiled for hours creating that thing.

Then, one day, Phil, our sometimes-Friday bartender, texted Dave a picture and asked if we were missing something. Phil’s been pretty busy with his day job, so he was probably out of the loop on the goings-on at the bar. Apparently someone he knew had found the board on a country road and sent Phil a picture of it. (Minor correction to the LJW article: It wasn’t a friend of Dave’s who discovered it.)

Get this: on a country road near the Outhouse.

So, we’re assuming that thieves went on a joyride that night, looking for different entertainment than our little bar can provide, and the board either flew out of their vehicle on the bumpy road, or they realized they wouldn’t be able to show off their prize to anyone. Or maybe they just hate us, who knows.

But the good news is, we finally have the board back, and while it has some minor damage, it’s nothing that can’t be repaired. And this time, Dave said he’ll make sure it’s locked down whenever it’s on duty.

P.S. The recovery was big enough news that the LJW posted a follow-up story, and a Kansan reporter stopped by the bar to do a story on it, too, so watch for that one.