Over the last few months, cocktail legend Toby Maloney has been spotted in various bars around Philly, far away from his home in NYC. After some poking around, it appears that Maloney—the brilliant mind behind Chicago's The Violet Hour and the top dude at Alchemy Consulting—has entered the mysterious vortex known as Hop Sing Laundromat in a "work exchange program."
"I used to work with Toby at Grange Hall in NYC a long time ago," Hop Sing proprietor Lêe told Eater in a recent interview. "In fact, he set me up with the interview, and I ended up being the manager. Del Pedro, who was there, too, at the time."
So, what is a work exchange program between two proprietors? After seeing what Lêe has done with the interior of Hop Sing, Maloney made a deal with him: "He's training my bartenders, and I'm helping him do some custom design work at his upcoming bar in NYC. I'm flattered he asked me, and I can't wait to work with him again," said Lêe.
"I can't talk about what Toby is doing up there in NYC," Lêe added. "It's not my place to do that. But, I'm always amazed at his work ethic and his knowledge and love for cocktails, so there's no one better to train my staff."
Maloney is not designing cocktails, nor is becoming an owner in Hop Sing Laundromat, Lêe assured us. Hop Sing is still just Lêe winging the whole thing as he goes, which should make for an interesting spot, whenever it opens. As for that little detail of a launch date, Lêe had nothing to add. Although, we're about two months away from the release of Lêe's essay, though: "How To Fool An Entire City for More Than 2 Years with Promises of Cocktail Nirvana."
· All Hop Sing Laundromat Coverage [~EPHI~]