Bristol barbers serving the works to men
Walking into Everyman Barbers in Bristol’s city centre is to meet head-on with the art of balancing both the traditional aspects of a trade and the reality of modern living. Classic leather barbers chairs line-up against dark wood-framed mirrors; and free wifi is in place for everyone. This is 21st Century barbering, where comfort is on par with convenience.
“Barbering has evolved a lot over the last couple of decades” says owner of Everyman Noel Gilronan. “There was the whole ‘metrosexual’ movement in the naughties and that’s when we started trading, our aim was always to create a hub for men that went well above sitting in long queues bored down some back alley.”
Penn Street is anything but a back alley. The glass-fronted barbershop sits side-by-side with big well-known brands and it gives the impression that it is at least a few notches above.
With its ten barbers chairs, and as many barbers to fill them, waiting times are often short. Though there is the welcome consolation in the form of complimentary cold beer, live sports and gaming consoles.
When questioned on the name for his business, Gilronan says: “If you consider that our business model has such a wide reach…we get professionals, students, hipsters, working men, people from all backgrounds in here, and to acknowledge this we have offers to suit everyone. So we went with Everyman Barbers.”
It does make sense, and also separates Everyman from the many temporary hipster joints that have sprung up in recent years, which all seem to be about braces, tattoos, and fleeting fashions. There is more a sense of permanence in this store, possibly a result of the location, and the money that looks to have been invested in the business. Everyman also has barbers in Birmingham and Nottingham.
A noteworthy service at Everyman, beyond haircuts, and which is especially popular at weekends, is the traditional wet shave. It’s an ancient service that uses hot towels, badger-hair brushes, top notch creams, open blades, and cold towels for a refreshing finish. It’s quite an art to watch and certainly relaxing to experience.
It is worlds away from most barbershops I’ve visited, and the hours are tailored to suit city working hours, which enables customers to visit either side of a shift. Even Sundays get busy as the beer flows, but again, the queues do move fast.
Staff are encouraged to ‘educate’ customers, Noel tells me, on how to manage their hair. “Our ethos is to provide high-level, consistently high-quality haircuts with excellent service to match. We want to be an asset to any UK high street.’ He says.