The gentleman’s true solace.
Ever-pressed for time, I find myself running (just as you probably are too) between meetings in a hectic schedule. Sometimes within the building, sometimes not. As the day unfolds, I inevitably rarely finish the tasks first on my list, guilty of endless re-prioritization. But hey, what can you do?! Tis the way of the corporate era here.
I get a haircut about every 7 or 8 days. Keep it fresh. Normally it’s tightly squeezed in a free half-hour block and scheduled half an hour prior. Because of my last-minuteness, I have a tendency to move around from one hair artist to another, a price for convenience I guess. On the upside, this has allowed me to check out many places in the downtown Montreal area. I always tip well though and hardly a complainer, I believe this is essential in the relationship that you have with your barber, but don’t be shy to say what you want.
I feel lively and renewed every time I leave barbershop joints, but, never as good as when I go to an Atelier. Adorned with a décor worthy of a private club, my favored experience locally has been Mantelier in Old Montreal. This place is sheer relaxation; smooth lounge music, scotch poured, hot towel and straight razor shave. The artists there are so meticulous they cut your beard hair by the singles. Just kick back, and let the artists work their magic.
But that’s not it, Mantelier is one of the few places that offer premium men’s grooming services from pedicure to manicure, skin care treatments and even eyebrow coloring. It’s a great place to start the bachelor’s day before the big day.
Unfortunately, I can’t pull it off on my busy weekday schedule but whenever I have time to hit Mantelier on a Saturday morning, I do remember. Every time I remember. I remember why I go there, why this is so much more than just a barbershop. It is really a solace for the modern gentleman, where one can properly escape the bustle of the city life and the nonstop rhythm of the metropolis. Don’t get me wrong, I live downtown because I enjoy hectic, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be able to get away. I love the barbershop for its convenience, but the Atelier gets my vote for the experience.
Other notable place to check out in the city; Notorious, was one of the first in the city to effectively bring back life into the modern barbershop. Located west of Atwater, this joint also caters to the scotch drinker, but this time it picks up a hip-hop twist that’s great for the grown up 80’s and 70’s baby. Also known for their “thousand dollar shave”, they have been ingenious with their service offerings to the extent of offering a mobile cut, yes that’s right, a mobile cut.
FRANK & OAK
Frank & Oak too, the local online fashion supplier with a hipster-Mount-Royal-turned-professionals’ attitude is a great place for a fast getup. With several locations on the map, you can easily find a close one for convenience. The cutters are great, but you have to like the very laid back atmosphere.
Maison Privée is just plain sexy. From the name, to the web site, to the high white walls of its Old Port location run by the most colorful of tattooed hair artists in the city; it’s a place that is very enjoyable to go to and the vibe is just awesome. This concept has been so successful, the house has opened 3 more locations and now manages 4 in total. Just recently, Maison Privée completed a collaboration with Cadillac, emphasizing the connection with luxury brands and modern lifestyle businesses like that of Maison Privée.
And you just can’t talk about the local barbershop scene without talking about the real OG’s of the game. Now I would surely be omitting a few names out there and so to avoid the dissatisfaction of providing an incomplete list of the realest, I will just give you one that I am quite fond about, Rock Cuts. Lost in a hard to find area of a suburb flea-market maze, this spot has been attracting and continuously building its clientele for over 10 years. The proud owner, still cutting to this day, started this in his basement way back when, until the lineups were no longer manageable from home. And because prices are half that of the new joints, his clientele comes twice as often and keeps this operation on point like a military drill, way past closing hours of the market to satisfy demand. Still, if you’re looking for the genuine barbershop feel and love to get that precision fade freshened up on a weekly; Rock Cuts is your shop.
Bottom line, the Montreal scene is bustling with cool places to get your hair and beard done. Choice is yours, and it really depends on your style. As I always say when purchasing my cars, the ultimate decision is made when you take it for a test drive.
Enjoy, and stay #dapper
For more information about the shops:
Mantelier soins O masculine: http://www.mantelier.ca/
Notorious : http://www.notoriousbarbershop.com/
Frank & Oak : https://global.frankandoak.com/
Maison Privée : http://www.maisonprivee.ca/
Rock Cuts : http://www.marcado.ca/rock-cuts/