Barber shop meets cocktail lounge—sounds a bit “Sweeney Todd” until you find out that the booze and the razors don’t get their buzz on at the same time.
Meet The Blind Barber (no, not that guy who gave you the whack lopsided Kid ‘n Play haircut in the 4th grade), the new nightspot in the former Plan B space from Joshua Boyd, the guy who brought GalleryBar and Ella to the hip NYC bar scene. Boyd’s collaboration with barbershop main-man, Jeff Laub, and Adam Kirsch, operator of The Box, Ella, and GalleryBar, has resulted in a more masculine version of Beauty Bar with a 1920s twist.
A white-washed wooden door with the words “Barber Shop” printed on the front, are the only telling signals that you’ve arrived at The Blind Barber. An old-school, simplistic Barber Shop sits in the front, and if you walk by in the daytime, you would not even consider a hidden lounge in the back (which gives this place that uber-trendy draw reminiscent of The Cabin Down Below or La Esquina).
The limited lounge space (designed by Robert Stansell III also of GalleryBar and Ella) is complimented by vintage-looking leather banquettes, black and white checkered floors, and grayscale photos I’d probably find in some tin in my Nana’s garage. However, you might uncontrollably blurt out “Woah. That’s it?” after scanning a few tables in front and an even tinier couch-laden nook dubbed “Grandpa’s Den” in the back. A candlelit glow and a DJ spinning tunes genres miles away from house, rap and hard rock secures this spot as a pre-bar or late-night hangout for more of the fedora-topped scenesters. Still, we’ve only been here once, and it’s only been open for a week, so updates will be on their way after we venture back for round two.
The bartenders are costumed in a similar old-world fashion (again, think Sweeney Todd) and one of them even kind of looks like Johnny Depp. Perhaps Boyd had this film in mind when designing the drink menu at The Blind Barber, because on it you’ll find the “Sweeney Todd,” a mix of Jameson, egg whites, lemon juice, honey syrup and grenadine. Our favorite was the Lemongrass Gimlet—a tasty concoction made up of Corralejo Tequila, lime juice, lemongrass syrup and basil.
If the drinks (which start flowing after 9 p.m. on weeknights and 6 p.m. on Sundays) have you feeling straggly and unkempt the next day, stop into The Blind Barber for a Hangover Remedy shave, featuring essential oils which will revive you after a long night out.
A one-stop nightspot and barber shop? Gimmicky or cutting-edge—we’ll let you decide.
Photo Credit: Peter Svarzbein