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June 10, 2018

Infamous Chinatown speakeasy-style bar is cutting its hours

Food & Drink Bars
Hop Sing Laundromat That's All She Wrote Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

That's All She Wrote, a mezcal cocktail at Hop Sing Laundromat

Getting into Hop Sing Laundromat, the Chinatown speakeasy-style bar made famous for its strong cocktails and even stronger code of conduct, is about to be even more difficult. Effective immediately, the bar is scaling back its hours significantly, only opening doors three days a week.

During a private party celebrating the bar’s six-year anniversary last week, Hop Sing owner, who goes simply by Lê, told a room full of local media and guests including Georges Perrier, Marc Vetri, and Councilman Allan Domb that the bar would only be open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Lê's reasoning for the change: "Because I can.”

Lê announced the changes while standing on top Hop Sing’s nickel-paved bar, mentioning that he was also beginning a new business venture and, after six years, had earned a break from hustling at the bar seven days a week.

Despite speculation, Lê also said the bar had no plans of closing.

Just as Hop Sing serves as one of the more unique bar experiences in Philly, putting guests through the ringer just for attempting to drink there (the door is unmarked and guests must wait outside while their IDs are scanned to make sure they're not already on the banned list) Lê likewise has a unique reputation among Philly business owners, often speaking vocally on social media about customers who have been kicked out and/or heretofore banned.

One of the fastest ways to get banned is by defying the bar’s strict no-smartphone policy. If you take a picture from inside the bar or, God forbid, post it to social media, you can bet you’re not getting in again. Of course, the rule may not apply to some of Philly's most honored restauranteurs, as Vetri himself posted an Instagram from inside Hop Sing's anniversary party.

Hop Sing Laundromat is located at 1029 Race St. behind a gray door gate. The bar is open 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.