Hop Sing Laundromat Is Not Closing

Except that, right now, it's totally closed.

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There are some rumors floating around out there in the restaurant world that , the most recognizable face behind Hop Sing Laundromat (and occasional spokesman for the North Korean government), is closing down his Chinatown bar and moving on.

We can say with confidence that this is not true.

Or at least we can say that with as much confidence as we can say anything when it comes to reporting on Lê and Hop Sing.

Yes, the place is going to be closed down this week, but I talked to Lê this morning, and while the conversation did range wildly, there was a point where he did promise that he would be back to open Hop Sing up again next Tuesday. This is, he said, just a vacation. The first one he’s taken since Hop Sing opened four years ago this weekend. And while he (briefly) considered marking the occasion with a big party or something, ultimately he decided that he “[didn’t] want to spend my anniversary with a bunch of tourists from Mississippi.”

“North Korea has no rednecks,” he went on to say (insisting that I quote him), “so we have no idea how to deal with those people.”

All part of his schtick as official spokesperson for his close, personal friend Glorious Leader, sure. But he really is hitting the road in order to get away, clear his head, and check in on some other projects that he has working. Which means that if you’re going to be sticking it out in Philly over the holiday weekend, you’re going to have to find somewhere else to drink. But he’s not closing the place for good. And he really is going to come back.

He said so himself.

Hop Sing Laundromat [f8b8z]
The Mystery Of Lê [Phillymag]