Classic Cuts: NYC Barbershops
by Jeremy Lehrer, 01/30/2013
Tommy Guns, Manhattan. Photo: Ed Reeve
138 Ludlow St., 212-477-1151, Lower East Side, Manhattan
85 N. 3rd St., 718-388-8288, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
The beautiful floor tiling and mirror cabinetry at Tommy Guns' both locations are replicas of the interiors at the original London salon that proprietor Russell Manley opened in 1994. Offering cuts for both men and women, Tommy Guns is not a barbershop per se, but a salon that takes inspiration from the genre. "We classify ourselves as hairdressers rather than barbers," says Manley, who adds that the Tommy Guns approach is to give clients classic, well-done cuts: "We don't do overtly crazy styles." At the Lower East Side location, there are six chairs upstairs and a spiral staircase leads to a well-appointed downstairs area where customers get hot towel shaves. The shaves are $45, last 45 minutes and include hot towel wraps and passes with the grain and against it. Vintage fixtures, chairs and art in both locations add to the old-timey vibe. The Williamsburg location is a vast space with an apothecary area featuring a plethora of grooming products. Manley's comment about the store's design could be applied to the haircuts: "What we strive to do is as authentic as possible—without pastiche."