Barber shop in downtown offers uncommon experience for LeeU men
There aren't many places that include a glass of liquor in the price of a standard haircut, but that's exactly what Cleveland's new barber shop, Bourbon and Blades, has made its hallmark.
Since opening four months ago, the shop's available alcohol has spurred conflicting opinions among Cleveland locals. And for many Lee students bound by the school's Community Covenant, getting a new haircut at Blades is preceded by a great deal of hesitation.
Mark Murphy, a Lee student, told Lee Clarion that though he found the shop's unique business model highly intriguing, its location struck him as odd.
“It is really interesting that they set up their business right next to Lee,” Murphy said, referencing Lee's strict no-drinking policy.
However, according to Blades' receptionist Bradon Lewis, the free drink offered with the haircut isn't necessary to accept, as underage clients also frequent Bourbon and Blades.
"We get all kinds of customers that come through here, simply because of the various age groups. They come in for a haircut and a drink, but the thing is that we attract the gentlemen who don’t drink as well,” Lewis said. “I’ve been to plenty of different barber shops and this one is definitely the most comfortable one I’ve been in. Our main theme is comfort.”
TJ Callahan, a barber at the shop, told Lee Clarion that Blades is almost a full-service spa—with a manly twist.
“We have a classic and a signature deal, both of which include shampooing, haircut and style, but we offer more things here than other barber shops,” Callahan said.
“We offer therapy, facial massages," Lewis added. "You get your complimentary drink if you want it and if you’re of age.”
According to Lewis, those who like to kick back and stretch out their feet while getting a gentleman’s pamper are those who ought to give Bourbon and Blades a try.
“I’ve always worked at full-service salons which are for men and women, but this is a different type of place,” Callahan said.
And the barber shop has a sister salon for the ladies: longtime Cleveland business Bliss.
“I used to work for Bliss. We’re actually connected because [the owner's] mom owns Bliss," Callahan added.
But when it comes to Bourbon and Blades, the shop's goal is for men, young and old, to quickly feel comfortable and slow to leave.
“It’s more of a homey feel," Lewis said. "The main factor is that you don’t feel like you’re just getting a haircut and leaving, but you feel like you’d like to stay awhile and relax.”