I used to work in the heart of London near a great chop shop called the The Whacky Barber. Having a beer during the cut was mandatory (even in the morning) and no matter what time of the day you went, every barber was heavily intoxicated (hence the name). Amazingly the haircuts were legitimate and the shop banter was worth every penny (in this case, pence). The point is that it was an experience. The interior of the shop had a lot of character and so did the guys working there. A haircut quickly became something to look forward to. When I moved back to North America I assumed it was one of those "only in Europe" type of experiences, similar to legally drinking wine in the park and beer on the street curb. What I ended up finding out was that these barbershops actually do exist on this side of the Atlantic; you just have to know where to look.
It has become apparent that there is an obvious rise in the number of vintage style barbershops popping up around North America right now. What's "vintage" you ask? Brick walls, old barber chairs, taxidermy, scotch in hand and friendly gents serving up a mean chop. We can attribute this new style to men caring more about the whole barbershop experience than just the end result.Here we take a closer look at a few barber shops across North America that are offering more than just a place to tidy up. The types of places you should keep an eye out for the next time you're looking for a trim.
1. The Blind Barber NYC
Every time I go to New York I get my hair cut here. Grab a drink and get one of the best classic cuts you'll find in New York at this no-frills barbershop and classic cocktail lounge. There are more than a couple great barbers in NYC these days, but few are this cool.
2. Temescal Alley Barber Shop - Oakland California
If you're looking for overly elaborate furnishings this is not the place. What you will find are dependable barbers dishing out haircuts, straight razor shaves, and beard trims to men who appreciate a straightforward experience. Should you happen to arrive a few minutes early, they'll offer you a swig of the good stuff while you're waiting.
Ray's is the definition of an old time barbershop. Its high ceilings and long corridor add to the charm of this noteworthy establishment. Ray's goes the extra mile by offering shoe shines and wet shaves for the guys looking to be taken back an era. They also serve up a mean bowl cut here (a friend of mine experienced this first hand).
4. Dominion Barbershop - Vancouver
We have to give some hometown credit to one of the best barbershops in Vancouver, Dominion. Located in the historic Gastown district, Dominion is everything you want your barbershop to look and feel like. Outfitted with a pinball machine, a grand leather couch and a random axe in the wall, the shop sets up nicely for a place to visit for a beer and cut. If you happen to be in Vancouver soon, be sure to check it out.