A few months ago I heartily endorsed the new FSC Barber Shop on Horatio Street located in the shop that once housed the famous Nick’s Barber Shop.  That was when I was employed and spent my money how I wished.

Now, being that I don’t have a steady income (aside from what I’m getting from Governor Patterson & President Obama) I can’t afford to pay nearly $60 for a good, but simple haircut.  Bring in Smith Street Barber Shop.  A few years ago, David’s Barber Shop opened on Court Street.  David’s was home to the $14 Men’s haircut.  It was opened by Bukharan Jews, Central Asian Jews from modern day Uzbekistan and Tajikistan who has once been the barbers to the Muslim community.  However, political unrest and a growing intolerance towards the Jewish communities of the region forced them to leave and migrate to Israel and the United States where they now continue their trade. 

These guys are not fancy.  They don’t pretend to be.  A couple brothers from David’s recently branched off on their own and opened Smith Street Barber Shop in the location of a former ladies salon.  They opened a few months ago with little fanfare.  I’ve walked by numerous times to see the brothers looking bored.  I felt bad, but hadn’t needed a haircut.  Today Kristina mentioned I was starting to look a little shaggy, so I decided to give them a try. 

I was warmly greeted and showed to a chair.  He asked what I wanted done – a trim using scissors only, no buzzer.  He worked slowly and efficiently.  “You want a shave?” he asked.  I’d been sporting 4 days worth of stubble.  “Nah.”  He continued, asking questions, talking about the state of their business – not great, making sure everything was ok with the haircut.  “You know,” I said “I will take that shave.”  The cut was $14.  With the shave it would be $25.  Add a $5 tip, and I’m paying half of what I was paying at FSC.  But would the quality be the same?

For the shave, he first put a eucalyptus cream on my face, then a thick lather.  He brought in a hot towel which he placed on my face, heating up the lather.  He again worked slowly taking care to not cut me or miss a spot.  When done he lathered me up again and went in for round 2.  Upon completion I got another cream, another hot towel, and some aftershave. 

The mirror revealed a nice, even haircut and a clean shave.  I am happy with the results, and even happier with the value.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t go to FSC or another more expensive barber if you can and choose to.  But if you are in the sort of situation where you need to limit your spending, or if you just don’t care to spend more than $14 on a haircut then Smith Street Barber Shop may be the place for you.

Smith Street Barber Shop
178 Smith Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
  718-858-5470  
Mon-Thurs: 8:30 AM – 8:00 PM
Fri: 8:30 AM – sunset
Sun: 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Sat: Closed

~Sam

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