Classic Cuts: NYC Barbershops
by Jeremy Lehrer, 01/30/2013
Photo: Marley White
The Blind Barber
339 E. 10th St., 212-228-2123, East Village, Manhattan
Each of the new breed of barbershops has a defining concept, and the Blind Barber's is to combine barbershop with bar—expressing the symbiosis of good grooming and socializing. In the front area is an intimate, white-walled barbershop area with two vintage barber chairs, big mirrors and globe lights; the windows in front face the north end of Tompkins Square Park. The barbers here typically dress in white T-shirts and jeans and offer services encompassing the entire men's panoply: cuts, beard trims and all the rest. The shave here is a five-step act, with the "hangover remedy" including an extra step and ointment. Blind Barber has a small space and a devoted clientele, so customers should be sure to arrange appointments in advance.
After the cut is finished, the newly dapper patron can go through the sliding door on the back wall and enter the spacious, fully stocked speakeasy bar with its several seating areas, couches and leather banquettes. The portraits of men—on motorcycles, wearing top hats, taking a work break outside a butcher shop—celebrate the gentleman at his best. The bar, which gathers a lively crowd, features DJs Tuesday through Saturday nights. Barbershop customers are given a complimentary drink, which include signature cocktails like Batman (consisting of gin, St. Germain, lemon juice, mint and bitters) and Hot Heather (tequila, lime, agave, pineapple and ginger). The bar also features pizzas from Gnocco, an Italian eatery next door.