While at the Chicago Collective show, I had to stop into the No.1 rated Barbershop in Chi-Town.
As you enter Joe's Barber Shop, you immediately understand that this is not a place for the ladies. No blow dryers blowing, No smell of nail polish in the air, and No gaggle of women yenta-ing it up beside you. This is a place for men... Real Men. The kind of place my Dad use to take me and my brothers to for our annual Summer crew-cut.
I was able to chat with Joe Jr., who works alongside his dad, Joe Sr. (actually, 3-chairs down). He gave this Stiff some background information on his father and the greatness known as Joe's Barber Shop. Senior learned how to cut hair when he was just 5-years old while living in Italy. Later, he moved to Chicago in 1955 and opened up Joe's Barber Shop in 1968, at 21-years of age. You can spot Joe Sr. using his bright colored cape and wearing a different outfit then the rest of the barbers. Without anyone even having to say a word, you kinda know he's the superhero amongst us mere mortals.
Joe Jr. is a 3rd Generation barber and extremely proud of it. He lets you know that Joe's is an everyday traditional barbershop... NOT a Salon for Men. So, don’t get it confused. Or, you just might get thrown out (or, maybe you'll just feel that way). These guys don’t do designs or graphics... That's left for their t-shirts. And, make sure you know what hairstyle you want before you walk-in. If not, you might lose your spot in this booming shop! How booming? Heck, they created their own grooming line called 68 Provisional Co. where they make beard oils, pomades and an impressive mill-handled safety razor. It's pretty awesome, because I've tried it and because I said so.
“No BS taken, no BS given. We are not McDonalds, we’re not going to cater to everyone…We’re going to cater to what we do. We put our foot down and if you don’t like it,
you can leave.” - Joe Jr.
Okay... I admit, I was slightly intimidated. But, if I needed a haircut while I was there, my trust would definitely lie in these manly-man hands (sorry Joe). Every barber is a "certified barber", which means they wield a genuine straight-blade razor! Janice at the hair salon down the street can't legally throw-down the closest shave in town like Joe's can.
If you decide to Man-up and make it over to Joe's... Please make sure you know proper barbershop terms going into this historical establishment. Our trusty Social Stiff (Kaylin) asked some pre-interview questions, like: "Is the 'Comb-Over' still a popular cut?" She was quickly corrected for the term "Comb-Over". Joe Jr. told her that a "Comb-Over" describes Donald Trump and those alike. The correct term is called a Gentlemens haircut. A "Hard-Part" is a dedicated line and a "Soft-Part" is when the line is thrown over. For example, Don Draper from Mad Men has a "Hard-Part". So, if you walk in asking for a "Comb-Over" haircut, Joe. Jr. will most likely shave your head and leave you with a few strands. Haha!
(I’m not kidding and neither is Joe Jr.)
Too hung over for a shave? No worries...
Joe's Barber Shop holds special events for their customers such as one called, “Hangover Shave Sunday.” It's a "Flat-Fee" haircut or shave which has been running for 6-years now. They have live music, good food and beer! It brings in the community and makes their customers feel appreciated. Most look forward to it all year. Würkin Stiffs can not guarantee that the squirrels will jump off the walls to feed and lather you up. However, we can confidently say it's something you should not miss while you're in Chicago! (Bam... I just gave you Traveling Stiffs something to do on a Sunday.)
This shop is a "must see" with hilarious decor and skilled barbers. If you are ever in the area, make sure to stop in.
If you're a Brave Stiff, please do me a huge favor and ask for a "Comb-Over",
take a photo, and then send it to me! #joescombover
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