Born in New York City and raised in New Jersey, Todd moved to Hong Kong in 2004 to manage the operation of one of the biggest F&B groups in the island city. In 2009, himself an advocate of sustainable eating, Todd worked with local farmers and founded what would become a trusted and widely-known multi-awarded osteria that serves local organic produce, Posto Pubblico.
FRANKS is a Red Sauce Hospitality restaurant.
Franks, the clubhouse for the Tai Kwun neighborhood, is a new approach to the traditional Italian American social clubs of New Jersey and New York. Opened in 2018 Franks is named after Todd’s mentor Frank Amen, the legendary New Jersey restaurateur. Owners and brothers Todd and Mike Darling, who grew up in New Jersey thought; whoever wrote the rule that social clubs had to be low-key, exclusive joints? Why can’t we build a bustling social club, with “welcome home” hospitality that’s open to anyone who’s passionate about music, food, and cocktails?
The brothers have updated the traditional social club with a vinyl music program and top-shelf sound system that pumps out Hip Hop. Partner and chef, Vinny Lauria expands the definition of Italian American cooking by using traditional family recipes influenced by regional techniques and ingredients from the Hong Kong region. Lauria with Alex Chatte, Bar Director, inspired by traditional Italian American dishes and ingredients, bring a culinary, produce-driven approach to the cocktail program. Frank’s spans two floors, a bar on the ground floor and dining cocktail lounge upstairs. The club is open for everyone, lunch, dinner, and of course very late nights…if you know, you know.
Darling joined Red Sauce Hospitality in 2018 to oversee Frank’s music and entertainment program. His role includes overseeing music selection and bookings for Posto Pubblico, Fini’s SoHo, and Fini’s Wan Chai. Michael hails from North Jersey where he cut his teeth as a DJ playing dive bars, major events, and clubs. His musical passions are diverse, growing up in North Jersey in the 90’s and early 2000’s east coast Hip-Hop shaped Mike’s taste outside his home while at home his parents raised him on a steady diet of Motown.
Vinny Lauria began his professional cooking career in Nashua, New Hampshire and has since cooked his way around the world. He started building his craft on the local scene and then obtained a culinary degree at the prestigious Johnson and Wales University in Providence, RI. Following a stint in Colorado, he moved to New York City to become the Sous Chef of the acclaimed Babbo Ristorante and Enoteca (1 Michelin star). After 2 years, Lauria moved to Hong Kong to open 208. Not wanting to rest on his laurels, Lauria left 208 to open Linguini Fini. There, he was recipient of local and international recognition. He captured Chef of the Year credit as well as Best New Restaurant and a Michelin recommendation. Lauria’s impressive resume includes the opening of restaurants with Red Sauce Hospitality in Hong Kong, the Philippines and Vietnam. Aside from running his restaurants, Lauria enjoys foraging, eating, drinking and traveling.
Having a career spanning over sixteen years in the world of mixology both locally and internationally, Chatté’s speciality lies in his niche cocktails that are not quite molecular but not quite traditional either. While Chatté excelled in competitions like the World Class Cocktail Competition, Beefeaters Asia Champion and Bacardi Legacy, Chatté created and moved on to the well received +852 Flair Cocktail Bar, Duddell’s, Bibo, Paradis and today The Barback Co.