When you stop by for a haircut at Blind Barber, nestled in the corner of Tompkins Square Park in New York’s East Village, you’ll find a two-chair barbershop with a vibe that’s both old-school cool and modern day hipster.
The first indication that the salon is anything but traditional is that you’re offered a complimentary cocktail, beer or coffee while getting a trim. But the real surprise is almost mullet-esque: all three Blind Barber locations are business in the front, party in the back. At this location, a sliding door opens into a 1920s-inspired cocktail parlor.
Not everyone knows about it. “If people walk in and they don’t know the door, no one says a word,” says Jeff Laub, who started the salon-speakeasy concept five years ago with co-founders Adam Kirsch and Josh Boyd. The Blind Barber name itself is a nod to Prohibition-era agents who would turn a blind eye to illicit operations.
Although the brand has evolved over the past five years to include a robust ecommerce operation and the physical footprint has expanded to new locations in Los Angeles and most recently Brooklyn, N.Y., the strategy remains the same. By allowing customers to make the discovery, it becomes theirs, a spot they want to show their friends and introduce to out of town visitors.
Entrepreneur’s former managing editor, Jason Fell, sat down to learn more from Jeff Laub at the company’s newest salon in the trendy Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. Check out the video above for more.