The Dubai barbershop offering a trim, a tipple and a takeaway
By the time you read this most of us will have had our first trim, post-lockdown. Amid the confines of our isolation island the idea of our next haircut became like a beacon of light that we beckoned for.
It became more than a trim, it became an indication that by the time we get the chance to do it again things around us ‘out there’ will have improved.
For some it was too much, and succumbed to either doing it themselves (brave!), or to have their partner do it for them (even braver!), while others saw that long-awaited trip to the barbershop evolve from a matter of aesthetic upkeep and a social respite, into a symbol of freedom.
For me, it was a case of doubling up. While not being entirely comfortable with venturing too far outside of my suburban Dubai community, the first few expeditions were like a mammal venturing out post-hibernation: curious, but cautious. Located within Reform Social & Grill, the latest branch of reputable barbers Chaps & Co. was an enticing choice.
The small, threechair size of it eased my concerns of contact with too many other people—while the shop’s budding bromance with the British gastropub, allows anyone who has booked a haircut to order from a special ‘Dude Food’ menu for an additional AED50. You can also order off the drinks menu too.
Despite its size, this suburban outpost of Chaps & Co. still maintains the aesthetics and hallmarks of the UAE-born brand—but does so with an understanding that its clientele may be a little different from those who flock to its Dubai Design District or JLT locations.
Making up part of The Lakes community centre, punters here almost exclusively come from the surrounding family-friendly areas of Meadows, Springs and Emirates Hills. The interior is slick, with those trademarked straight-edge razors still decorating the dark wood walls.
The barbers are smartly dressed with dark trousers, white shirts, hygiene masks and gloves, while the speakers blare out a carefully considered playlist (think The White Stripes, more than Jason Derulo). Unlike other locations, the normal dark ‘mancave’ aesthetic is replaced with a showering of natural sunlight coming from the large glass windows. All of that makes for an evolved Chaps & Co. aesthetic, one that is more for the ‘cool young dad’ aesthetic.
Considering everyone’s new fixation on sanitary conditions, barbershops have the advantage of already being a step ahead. Elevated levels of cleanliness have been built into Chaps & Co’s DNA since the day it launched, and it is a hugely comforting experience seeing how at ease the barbers are with regards to operating within the new regulations.
A haircut, a quick tipple and a cheeky sausage roll? Surely that’s enough to tempt even the most solitary of confiners back into the wide world.
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