It seems a patron at Hop Sing Laundromat, the popular speakeasy-style Chinatown cocktail bar, was trying to earn a spot on the ever-growing banned list. The offense? Tipping 20 cents plus a partially used Wawa gift card.
Owner Le, who playfully styles himself on social media as a North Korean expat working for Dear Leader, and is never one to shy from expressing a strong opinion, is the keeper of the gate at Hop Sing (1029 Race Street) and he enforces a strict set of rules. Break the rules — whether that’s taking a selfie inside or tipping an inexcusably low amount — and Le will add your name to the 3,000 already barred from entering the bar and ordering some of the very best cocktails in Philadelphia.
On Saturday night, someone requested two cocktails, totaling $30.80, and paid for them in cash (so far so good) — and then rounded up to $31 for a tip of 20 measly cents. But in quintessential Philly fashion, they must have reached into their pocket, looking for something of true value to add to that meager amount, and decided a Wawa gift card with a leftover balance of $4.42 was just the thing.
This wasn’t the first time someone paid with an item besides dollars or credit at Hop Sing. Le says he’s received plenty of foreign currency, plus the occasional SEPTA token.
“As the world’s only super power when it comes to counterfeit U.S. dollars, Dear Leader understands if you run out of ‘real’ cash every now and then,” Le jokes.
He wouldn’t confirm if the Wawa gift card offender was immediately banished, but did say this type of infraction would definitely warrant at least a warning, if not a “one-way ticket to the banned list.”
Though if you are looking to tip with a gift card, Le says he’d prefer one for Tiffany.
No word on if he spend the gift card on a shorti.