Rising Star Mixologist Al Sotack of Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. - Biography

Philadelphia, PA

December 2012

Al Sotack grew up in the Anthracite region of Eastern Pennsylvania, better known for its coal mines than as a destination for serious drinking. For a taste of the latter—plus a degree in English and sociology—Sotack moved to New York City, where he graduated from New York University in 2003. A year later, Sotack began picking up shifts behind the bar at various New York haunts, launching a career and passion for the industry and craft.

In 2009, NYC’s Death and Company team tapped Sotack to help with the opening of Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. in Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square neighborhood. He’s since taken over as head bartender, creating and curating a cocktail list to rival any New York program—and setting the standard for well-made drinks in Philadelphia. Sotack now splits his time between Franklin and Lemon Hill, a restaurant and bar that opened in Fairmount in late 2011.

Under Sotack’s leadership, Franklin has earned spots on GQ’s “Top 25 Bars in America” and Esquire’s “Best Bars in America.” He was also voted Eater Philly’s “Bartender of the Year” for 2012 and won the 2013 StarChefs.com Philadelphia Rising Star Mixologist Award. Respected by peers and loved by Philly’s devoted drinkers, Sotack has put Philly on the map for craft cocktails.