The Old School Barbershop

Copyright © Blind Barber, NYC

For years, I harbored a fantasy of opening a barbershop. But not just an average barbershop. I mean a barbershop of the old school, a real man’s place. It would have a storefront and an interior flavor of an establishment that’s been in business for decades, with tile, wood, Barbicide jars, the smell of Pinaud-Clubman product, shaving cream brushes, the hum of hair clippers and those great barber chairs that could survive the impact of a locomotive. Buzzy descriptives like “old-timey,” “heritage” and “vintage” spring to mind.

In this fantasy of mine, the barbershop would be more than just a place to get a cut and shave. It would be a guy’s hangout. Comradery would be king. Your barber wouldn’t just cut your hair, but he would also cut your dad’s hair and your son’s hair. You would know the guy in the chair next to you, and you would welcome the new guy or visitor coming in for a trim. There would be smart discussion, witty banter, good arguments, rich laughter, strong coffee, maybe even a little single-barrel bourbon, all with the sounds of Miles Davis, the Rolling Stones, Dave Brubeck, Led Zeppelin and Sinatra underneath.

Since Sam Buffa teamed up with Freeman’s Sporting Club’s (F.S.C.) Taavo Somer and William Tigertt to create F.S.C. Barber in New York City in 2006, one could realize said fantasy. Since then, there has been a wave of heritage shops that cater to the barber experience from the old school. Here are a few I love:

F.S.C. Barber

New York + San Francisco

F.S.C. Barber - photo by Joshua Bright for The New York Times

Haircut – $40
Beard Trim – $15
Buzz – $20
Straight Razor Shave – $40
Shave + Haircut – $75
Hangover Treatment – $25

5 Horatio Street, NYC – MAP

8 Rivington Street, NYC – MAP

696 Valencia Street, SF Mission – MAP

Blind Barber

New York

Blind Barber

Trim – $20
Haircut – $40
Shave – $30
Beard Trim – $20
Complimentary beverage with every service

339 East 10th Street, NYC – MAP

Neighborhood Cut & Shave

New York

Photos from Ryan @ Smith & Ratliff -

Haircut – $40
Shampoo – $5
Trim – $25
Beard Trim – $15
Kids – $25
Buzz Cut – $25
Hot Towel Shave – $40
Shave + Haircut – $75

37a Bedford Street, NYC – MAP
212-929-5555 (online reservations accepted)

Baxter Finley Barber + Shop

Los Angeles

Copyright © Baxter Finley Barber + Shop

Haircut – $40
Shave – $40
Haircut + Shave – $75

515 N. La Cienega Blvd., L.A. – MAP

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