“The first weekend of December 2014, we had a groomsmen party that was scheduled for the day of their wedding, complete with straight razor shaves, haircuts and beard trims,” says Dawn. “They brought their tuxedos to change into and food to snack on, which included beer, bagels and bourbon.”
The group settled into the upstairs spa room and wound up repurposing manicure/pedicure stations into bar seating.
“My husband, Alex, was doing a straight razor shave, and I excitedly told him, ‘I think we should open a bar, especially for days like this!’” Dawn recalls. “He… always says, ‘Who am I to argue with my wife?’ ”
Less than a year later, the Quintanas opened their speakeasy behind a bookshelf in the barbershop. If guests get haircuts when the speakeasy isn’t open, a beer fridge in the barbershop keeps them hydrated. The Quintanas say it’s not uncommon for guests to tack on an extra hour or two for “appointments” to kick back with a beverage before, during or after their cuts, too.
Barbershops across the country have begun to offer beer or spirits during service as another way to relax and unwind in what is already a social setting.
“We always envisioned our shop as the friendly neighborhood barber where people would feel comfortable relaxing, meeting new and old friends, and unwinding in a chill atmosphere,” says Richard Corio of Barber and Brew in Cold Spring, New York. “Most of our customers love the idea of being able to kick back with their favorite brew during their service.”
At Barber and Brew, you don’t need an appointment to have a drink. “We welcome folks for just a cut, just a beer or both,” says Corio.
Whether it’s a Prohibition-era cocktail and a beard trim or a craft brew after a hot towel wrap, these boozy barbershops are serving up the perfect pairing for looking good and feeling great.
Barber and Brew
Cold Spring, NY
When he opened Barber and Brew, Richard Corio was eager to serve his neighborhood.
“As luck would have it, the space we took over had this amazing vintage barber station up front in the main shop window, but it also had this cozy, almost speakeasy-type space in the back that was bigger than we needed.”
The lightbulb went off, and soon the owners were building out a 10-tap craft beer bar with a rotating menu of taps and cans from local breweries. Open since May 2017, the bar’s a la cart beer program highlights Industrial Arts, Hudson Valley Brewery and other nearby breweries, but also features best-in-class beers and ciders from across the U.S.
A “haircut and a pint” is the most requested service, Corio says.
The Barbershop Cuts & Cocktails
Las Vegas, NV
There’s a secret lurking behind the janitor’s door at The Barbershop Cuts & Cocktails in the Cosmopolitan Hotel. Just beyond the three custom barber chairs, where customers sip a complimentary cocktail or beer while leather-and-canvas-clad barbers perform a range of grooming services, lies a swanky, Prohibition-style cocktail lounge and music venue.
The barbershop opened in March 2019, and it’s not uncommon for visiting artists to pop onstage for impromptu performances in the speakeasy (Machine Gun Kelly did so most recently). Although drinks are complimentary in the barbershop with any service, including beard trims, straight razor shaves or haircuts, many barbershop customers end their services with a trip through the door for a whiskey on the tufted leather couches.
de Porres House of Barbering and Lounge
de Porres House of Barbering and Lounge is an old-school barbershop at heart, and that’s partly because the barbershop has been going strong since 1965. It wasn’t until current owner Paul Ellerkamp moved this North Dakota icon to its new home off of 2nd Avenue that the shop went from neighborhood barbershop to social club status.
“We wanted to provide an option where someone could come to our establishment not only to get their hair care needs done but also provide an area and the opportunity to just hang out and socialize without having the expectation of getting a haircut,” says Ellerkamp. “Knowing most people from North Dakota love their beer, it was just a natural progression to go that direction in providing the best beer we could find for our customers.”
The barbershop now offers craft beer, wine, cigars, coffee, teas, Italian sodas and other non-alcoholic drinks. Last year alone, the team at de Porres poured more than 400 styles of craft beer, but they specialize in beer from North Dakota. Drinks are served a la cart, and the most popular pairing is a straight razor shave with anything from Laughing Sun Brewery in Bismarck, ND.
High & Tight Barbershop
Subtle nods to the 1920s are sprinkled through this Deep Ellum barbershop, where even the name, “High & Tight Barbershop,” is a play on the popular hairstyle of the decade. The shop opened in 2015 and the adjoining speakeasy followed shortly after. The speakeasy has become a favorite for scoring Prohibition-era cocktails like the Goodman or Barbara Sue after barbershop hours (Thursday through Sunday from 8 pm–2 am), but the vibe is equally lively during the day when a free beer is just a haircut away.
Customers receive one complimentary drink with a service. Favorites include a hot lather head shave with a can of Lone Star or a beard trim with an ice-cold PBR.
The Speakeasy at Quintana’s Barber & Dream Spa
Accessible from behind a bookcase, and only when the barber pole is lit and spinning, The Speakeasy at Quintana’s Barbershop opened in 2015. The bar menu focuses on bourbon but also features wine, including some from Ohio winery M Cellars, classic cocktails and house creations like “Makin’ Bacon Pancakes” and “Apple of My Rye.” Drinks are served a la cart from a beer fridge in the downstairs barbershop, which is also stocked with local favorites like Goldhorn Brewery’s Polka City Pilsner, Jackie O’s Pub & Brewery’s Mystic Mama, BrewDog’s Hazy Jane IPA and Fat Head’s Head Hunter American IPA.
Throne Traditional Barbershop
A complimentary drink with your service is what it’s all about at Throne Traditional Barbershop. The shop opened in 2014 and welcomes guests with vintage décor, custom barber chairs known as “thrones” and experienced barbers. It also features an entire wall of liquor that could compete with any local bar.
Although Portland’s mask mandates have put a brief pause on liquor consumption onsite, hopefully, guests will soon be able to sit back with a complimentary Widmer Brothers’ Drop Top Amber or sip a whiskey in a custom tumbler while waiting for a haircut or beard trim.