For years, the men's haircut experience was relegated to two categories: a cheap hack at the mall or an over-the-top salon 'do that drained the wallet (and your ego). Nearly lost to time, the classic neighbourhood barber shop has made a remarkable return in recent years. The kind of place you can pop in for a quick hello and get a proper cut at a fair price with good service.
When it opened in the fall of 2012, Hastings Barber Shop brought an immediate and time-worn presence to the neighbourhood that made it feel like it had been on the block for years. The cozy shop at the corner of Queen and Hastings has a no-nonsense, laidback approach to men's grooming, so it makes sense that it's gained a loyal following and become a home base for a good deal of local dudes to call their own.
Hastings has an old school aesthetic that's hard to miss. The shop is adorned in taxidermy and vintage thrift store art with a massive double-mirrored wood vanity that dates back to over a hundred years ago. A stack of classic Playboys and a consistently solid soundtrack liven up the atmosphere if there's a wait. Not that it will be long, these are mens' cuts after all and most guys are looking for a straightforward fade and they're out.
Once in a chair, the grooming treatment is prompt and comfortable. Owners Karolina Conroy and Gary Carroll are both a big part of the shop's personality, and they're joined by a team of other barbers who offer friendly service on top of quality fades and shaves. Expect a bit of back-and-forth banter and to be thrown into the shop's mood on any particular day. For the regulars, Hastings has become a neighbour hangout when it's that time again for a cut. But if you want to keep buttoned down like a gentleman, that's quite alright as well.
Because it's a popular joint, the shop is usually buzzing during primetime hours (see what I did there?) so make sure to call ahead or book online to get a seat. As an added bonus, Hastings accepts appointments via text to make things even easier in our modern world of mobile communication. If it happens that your schedule collides with that of the shop's, they're generally accommodating about walking in. Alternatively, you can check out Hastings' second location in Cabbagetown.
A haircut is $26, straight razor shave is $30 and a cut and shave will run you $50. The shop also carries its own line of promade and paste, each for $20, and also Layrite for $20. Hastings Barber Shop is open Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturdays and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
To read more about the owners, check out our LOCALS profile on the crew behind Hastings Barber Shop.
SIGNATURE: Straight razor shave – you've never felt something so smooth and so close no matter how many damn blades your Schick has.
1270 Queen St. E
251 Gerrard St. E