It really happened. Last night, Hop Sing Laundromat finally opened their doors for the very first time. Owner Lêe invited friends, media hacks (Eater Philly, check), and those people he lovingly calls "stalkers" on Twitter, to sample some of the drinks he'll be serving, and to take in the truly spectacular interior decoration and design of his finished bar.
Without hyperbole, it's easily the most beautiful room in town. Hundreds of candelabras light up the massive space, which has 20-foot ceilings and brushed metallic elements dotted around the bar, reflecting just enough light to see your drinking partner. We're actually excited for the rest of Philly to just see the damn place, liquor or not.
Speaking of alcohol, Lee was pouring some good booze, too. Some of the labels we saw tipping behind the bar were Nolet's and Greenbrier on the gin front, Johnny Drum Private Stock and Booker bourbons, 15 Year El Dorado rum, Ultimat vodka, and Anejo Patron. We might have missed a few others, but that was the short list.
What impressed us the most, though, was the speed at which the cocktails arrived at our table, and the bubbly froth in each drink that indicated just how recently the juice was made. Even though the place was completely packed, that never changed. Lêe promised that kind of promptness and freshness no matter how many patrons were in Hop Sing Laundromat at one time.
Lêe wouldn't give up his recipes for the cocktails he handed out, but they ran the gamut from refreshingly fruity, to smoky and warm, and one that was downright burning of booze in the best possible way. Ultimately, they seemed pretty simple with very few ingredients.
There's a distinct sense of privacy in the room, too. Our table was spaced just far enough from our neighbors that even though there was a humming din throughout the bar, we could easily hear one another without raising our voices. More importantly, we couldn't eavesdrop on the table next to us, either.
Eater Philly left early to grab a few orders of salt and pepper wings from David's Mai Lai Wah (which we hope Lêe puts on the menu of his delivery service for the bar), but it seemed the place was running very smoothly for being slammed and completely full in a very short amount of time.
Considering all the hype surrounding this project, we're sure people are expecting unicorn rides, pimp chalices, and Dom P flowing from the bathroom faucet at Hop Sing Laundromat. In reality it's a gorgeous space with a seriously deep list of spirits, and a completely unique bar experience. Now, when's it going to open?
· All Hop Sing Laundromat Coverage [~EPHI~]