Hemingway Would’ve Drunk at This Table

Hey, Porter: New York-made home goods so handsome it hurts

By The Editors
March 27, 2017 9:00 am

If you’ve got the audacity to name a side table after Papa Hemingway, a few features are expected.

A place to put your drink, a place to put your books and plenty of leather, for starters.

Luckily the Hemmy, from Rochester-based design studio Hey, Porter, has all three.

We caught up with co-founders Devry Drosky and Dave Flynn to see just how perfection is achieved.

InsideHook: Where and how do you make this stuff?
Hey, Porter: We share a beautiful industrial space together that houses our design studio and furniture production shop. Our furniture shop focuses on prototyping, small-batch and custom production, while much of our larger quantity work is outsourced locally. We responsibly source the finest materials available, working with local artisans to complement our in-house skills.

IH: Are these pieces limited edition?
HP: Not necessarily. We present some pieces as part of our official Hey, Porter Line — these works are available in small or large quantities. Our plan in the near future is to offer limited-edition special “color editions” of different pieces from our line. This will allow us to keep pushing and developing our color language with existing pieces as we simultaneously design new works.

IH: Do you take commissioned design requests?
HP: Yes. We accept commissioned design requests. We recently completed a small set of dining stools for a private upstate NY home.

IH: How long do these pieces take to make?
HP: Timing is based on the project. Depending on the scope/size of the project, 4-16 weeks, as each piece is handmade to order.


IH: What is your favorite book or what book do you see belonging in that leather hammock?
HP: A few of our favorite periodicals: 38 Hours in, Lucky Peach, Apartamento, Victory, etc.

And a favorite cookbook or 2: Everything I Want to Eat or Nose to Tail Eating.

IH: What is your favorite Hemingway work?
HP: The Sun Also Rises.


IH: Why name a lounge chair after 24 Hour of Le Mans (a race that debuted in 1923)? 
HP: It’s an amazing car race we’ve always wanted to attend. Plus Steve McQueen made that Porsche 917 look so good.

IH: What is your favorite sportscar?
HP: 1970 Alfa Romeo Giulia 1300 Ti, in all it’s hot-damn, boxish glory.


IH: What is your favorite cocktail and how do you like it prepared?
Dave: Something a bit more bitter and dry.

Devry: Dave makes a great Absinthe Daiquiri (Letherbee Charred-Oak Absinthe, fresh lime juice, Demerara and honey). Shaken just right and strained into a coupe. Real good.

IH: And now for the bar set-up. It’s almost too handsome to use. But let’s stock it. You can put any spirit, tool or glassware on there. What do you choose? 
HP: At least one or two (bottles) from each spirit category. A good rye whiskey, maybe from Widow Jane in Red Hook, a couple of interesting gins from Letherbee or St. George or Tommy Rotter, definitely a bottle of Smith & Cross Rum, Letherbee Charred-Oak absinthe, a couple of good amaros, including Arcane Fernet, a nice scotch, a few bourbons, one bottle of mezcal. A few bottles for sharing, and a few bottles just for us.

As tools go, we’d fill the drawer with the essentials: paring knife, peeler, stirring spoon, strainers, muddler. Other tools to go on the shelves: Shaker, stirring glass. For glassware, our beautiful Smoke-Glass Pitcher by Glass Artist Jesse Nelson and a few proper rocks glasses, some stemware, some custom pieces, etc. And to finish it off, our vintage Andre the Giant figure.

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