How a New York City Actor-Waiter-Bartender Turned into a Budding Entrepreneur
NEW YORK CITY — Presidents issue pardons, tennis tournaments hand out wildcards, restaurants hold tables for VIPs … so call this the blogger equivalent: On this, my birthday, I’m invoking personal privilege and profiling an honorary family member who, though he’s been intermittently involved in the restaurant trade, isn’t a chef.
Tobin Ludwig, one of the trio of young entrepreneurs behind the relatively new brand Hella Bitters, is something of an adopted son, or at least baby brother, to me and my wife, Caitlin, here in New York City. Tobin’s mother Josette, was a dear friend to my late mother in-law, Joan, and when he came to New York to spend a year here before college, we worked our network to help him secure a job, landing him a gig as a barista at The Harrison, which was about to open in Tribeca.
The timing of Tobin’s arrival seems comical now, but wasn’t at the time: September 9, 2001.
Two days later, on September 11, he was woken by his roommate at the 92nd Street Y. The guy’s girlfriend had called from Israel, alarmed about the attack on the city that was in progress. Tobin shuffled out onto Lexington Avenue and saw the smoldering towers way down south….