Remember what it was like to walk into a barber shop and get the ultimate shave from a master barber? Probably not, since most of us have never experienced this classic men's grooming service. The Shave of New York, a new barber shop in Manhattan's Nolita neighborhood, aims to restore balance to our frenetic lives by encouraging men to slow down and enjoy the finer things in life, like a top notch shave, a scalp treatment or a simple trim.
Conceived by John and Daniella Scala, native Brooklynites with a family history in the grooming industry (their uncle is the man behind the Grand Central salon Francesco's), The Shave of New York opened just earlier this summer but looks as though its Elizabeth Street roots were planted decades ago. The shop was designed entirely by John, who spared not a single detail in creating an authentic salon experience. From the black and white ceramic tiled floors and Day Lily-yellow walls, to the century-old, reconditioned barber chairs and perfectly poised ceiling chandelier, the interior feels at once confident and inviting.
And inviting it is. Upon being seated, guests are offered a complimentary beverage prior to their service of choice — a fine way to relax the nerves of those who've never gone under the straight razor. Still, ambiance and amenities mean little if the barber's skills are lacking. Fortunately, Master Barber Michael W. Haar has the knowledge, dexterity, and authority (no small feat for a 24 year old) to transform a shave into a life-changing experience. A graduate of the American Barber Institute, Michael has been shaving himself with a straight razor for years and shares the kind of observations you'd expect from an old-timer (e.g. Johnny Depp stropped his razor the wrong direction in "Sweeney Todd").
But back to the shave. The Shave of New York offers two shaves: The Traditional Shave ($30) and the Ultimate Shave ($50). Sparing excessive details that might ruin one's virgin experience, let's just say that the Ultimate Shave, comprised of roughly fifteen stages including a home-made clay mask, is akin to a short holiday at an exclusive spa — one that won't compromise your masculine sensibilities. With time-honored products from Truefitt & Hill and Taylors of Old Bond Street, Merkur platinum-edged stainless steel blades (a new one for every client) and a specially curated selection of essential oils and floral waters, this is one shave that will change the way you look in the mirror.
Now through 22 August 2008, The Shave of New York will be offering Cool Hunting readers a complimentary Traditional Shave with any store purchase of $30 or more.
The Shave of New York (soon to be known as The New York Shaving Company)
202B Elizabeth Street
New York, NY 10012 map
tel. +1 212 334 9495