Dapper gents, this one’s for you. Blind Barber is an ultra-hip hybrid of an old-school barbershop and cocktail bar offering something a little ‘cutting edge’ on the NYC speakeasy scene. Barber by day, bar by night.
If a cocktail wasn’t included in your appointment, you could easily walk into the shop for a cut without even realising that the heavy, green door at the back of the parlour leads to a cavernous speakeasy.
Blind Barber pays homage to traditional barbershops with an iconic striped pole, wall mirrors and antiquated chairs. The window front looks out onto Tompkins Square and hirsute East Villagers stop by to have a cut, swill a beer and partake in a solid chat with the trendy, heavily tattooed barbers. There’s a real neighbourhood feel as these men kick back and socialise amongst each other, much like the barbershops of yesteryear.
The best bit is you can get boozy sitting back in the barber’s chair. Enjoy a complimentary beverage with every service; haircuts ($45), shaves ($50) and beard trims ($20). The masculine cocktail menu contains cheeky numbers whipped up by the back-of-shop bartenders whilst your barber gets to work with his array of snappy instruments. Try the signature Sweeney Ted; an egg-white whisky sour with lemon, bitters and a touch of honey.
The gin-based Batman with St. Germain, lime and mint goes down a treat. By the time I’ve drained my glass I notice that my companion’s haircut is sharp and schmick. The barber has done wonders with what was once an unruly mop. His customer is evidently pleased with his new look and runs his hands through his slick do.
It’s time to grab a booth inside the speakeasy with my well-groomed man. After complimenting our barber on his serious scissor skills, we venture into the dimly lit interiors beyond the sliding door.
The old-worldly salon has an expansive wooden bar, black and white tiled floors and inviting leather booths. There’s also a cosy area at the very back that’s designed to look like a timeworn sitting room strewn with settees, aptly named ‘Grandpa’s den’.
Weeknights are a low-key affair. We settle in for a few drinks and order a margherita pizza from Gnocco pizzeria nearby. On weekends the place is packed into the evening with in-the-know New Yorkers and enraptured out-of-towners. After a few more cocktails the dance-floor becomes a blur of handsome hipsters with decidedly dapper haircuts.
To book an appointment visit https://www.blindbarber.com