First Impressions: Salvatore Barber Shop

I’ve long thought one of those new-school-old-school barber shops you see on the Lower East Side and in the West Village should open downtown. But after my last haircut at Freeman’s, I’m ready to ditch that idea: It was terrible, and I don’t generally care much about my haircuts because my hair (almost) always ends up looking the same after two days. So I was pleased that Salvatore Barber Shop opened inside the Conrad New York hotel in Battery Park City (you may remember that Goldman Sachs created space for it when it moved). Greater Tribeca has barber shops, but I’ve not loved any of them. I know some readers like Mike & Son on Church, but I find it a little manic.

Salvatore’s doesn’t have a sign yet; if you enter the hotel from Goldman Alley and go up the stairs, turn left at the first opportunity, and continue past the gym. The room is clean and uncluttered, bordering on empty, with windows onto the atrium at the end. There’s a curtain near the last chair that I thought might be to shield Goldman execs from being spotted in such a vulnerable situation, but I was told it’s just a design element. On the day I went, the radio was playing classic soul, which I so prefer to a blaring TV. They wash your hair, cut it, blow-dry it until not one stray clipping lingers—something most shops don’t do unless you insist—and then wrap your face in a hot towel. The result in my case was a straightforward, no-nonsense haircut. The price is $30. At least for you.

Franco: The price is $30, but I’m only charging you $25.
Me: That’s so nice—
Franco: I’m giving you a discount.
Me: —but you don’t have to do that.
Franco: I’m giving you a discount.
Me: Really, thank you, but it’s a journalism thing. I’m happy to pay the $30.
Franco: I’m giving you a discount.

OK then! The shop is open Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. It also offers shaves, manicures, pedicures, and waxing (the last three by appointment, for the time being). Kids are welcome.

Salvatore Barber Shop is inside the Conrad New York at 102 North End Ave., 646-769-4272.

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