Everything old is new again: handlebar mustaches, music that your great grandpappy would approve of and the eating and enjoying of innards. So it goes with getting groomed. A plastic disposable razor? Surely, you jest! They say the old-fashioned shaving ritual results in the closest shave ever, but you may want to visit one of these Chicago spots before taking a lethal weapon so close to your carotid artery.
1500 N Wells St.
Chicago, IL 60610
“I’m not only the best in the city, I am the best in the nation, arguably the world,” what else would you expect from a maestro? And the fact that the shop is in Old Town makes Maestro’s statement all the more spot on. Maestro (his real name) is no hipster-come-lately but a barber for 28-plus years by trade and a Master Instructor of all Barber services. The full-service gentlemen’s barbershop will not only snip your locks and trim your beard, but will regale you with hot lather shea butter shaves complete with steamy towels and a refreshing after-shave treatment. Regulars call him an artist and master of his craft.
State Street Barbers
600 N Kingsbury St.
Chicago, IL 60610
The family-owned business has four locations and has been smoothing the faces of men for more than a decade. Owner Mike Malik offers clear reasons why State Street is one of Chicago’s five-star barbershops. “We have the most skilled and highly trained team of barbers in the city and provide continuing education to ensure that they are always on the cutting edge of their craft. Our shop environment is ‘old world,’ so for 45 minutes or so, the guest feels he has been transported back in time. It is not unusual for guests to fall asleep when being shaved.” In addition to using fine products from Italy, the shop employs a seven-step shave process modeled on traditions that were passed on from barber to barber from the turn of the century. State Street is also a destination for groom parties and corporate events.
175 W Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604
Carmelo Preiti is the master barber at the 316 and works on the mandible areas of Chicago Cubs pitcher Kerry Woods and a handful of Chicago Blackhawks including captain Jonathan Toews and Coach Quinville (Carmelo has been cutting Chicago Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane’s “playoff mullet” since 2009). Carmelo properly preps the skin, the secret to a straight razor shave, with hot towels, pre-shave oils and more hot towels. Then it’s time for hot lather and the razor gliding across the skin. The 2,500-square-foot space in the heart of the financial district includes a pool table, odds board, full bar, fireplace, lounge chairs and 50s-era Vegas vibe.
Related: Best Places For Laser Hair Removal In Chicago
The Belmont Barbershop, Ltd.
2328 W Belmont Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618
You must set aside at least 40 minutes for your straight razor experience at The Belmont Barbershop, and you’ll want to return next week. The barbers are classically trained and licensed and one life-long Chicagoan, Peter Vitale, is a barber with 34 years of experience who has traveled the planet teaching how to deliver a straight razor shave for The Art of Shaving. The neighborhood shop attracts policemen, firemen, teachers, journalists, photographers, artists, musicians, construction workers, mechanics, pastors and politicians who come in for the steam towel, shave cream, steam towel, shave cream, shave the face with a straight razor, a third steam towel, clean up, cold towel, and aftershave and talc powder ritual.
Joe’s Barbershop Chicago
2641 W Fullerton Ave.
Joe Caccavella Jr. explains, “My father’s barbershop has been offering hot lather straight razor shaves to Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood since 1968 and being the third generation barber in my family, I’ve learned the art of a true, traditional, hot lather hot towel straight razor shave from my father, as he did from his father.” Caccavella understands that the art of traditional barbering has become trendy and new shops are popping up with significantly inflated shave prices, perhaps scaring off the “normal” guy from the relaxing process. “We have the opposite approach here at Joe’s Barbershop – we strive to give the best services we can at affordable, reasonable prices. It has worked well since 1968 so why mess with it?” It’s first come, first served, cash only and guys love Joe’s, so get there early or be prepared to wait.
Jacky Runice has been a columnist with the Daily Herald Chicago since grunge music and flannel was the new black. Her fingers and gray matter have been busy as travel editor of Reunions Magazine; penning a column that was syndicated around the nation via Tribune Media Services. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.