minibar.ber.shop at Scottsdale Quarter offers excellent, affordable food, drink and barber services.
A Brazilian for your face. That’s how the barbers at minibar.ber.shop in Scottsdale Quarter describe their “manzilian” straight razor shave. Having never experienced the traditional Brazilian, I can’t definitively say how similar the two are, but it’s my suspicion that my “manzilian” was far more relaxing and absent of tears than the alternative. And here they serve beer.
Upon entering the shop, I’m greeted by a friendly receptionist. I’m presented with a list of services including the “geraldo” mustache trim, the “zz top” beard trim and, of course, the “manzilian.”
I decide on the straight shave and my barber, Darryl, leads me to a white leather chair, which sits in front of a massive full-length mirrored cabinet. Several of these cabinets divide the shop, with barber stations on either side. The black cabinets contrast the stark white of the chair, floor and ceiling, creating a minimalist, very masculine feel.
And, did I mention they serve beer? Darryl asks me if I would like a drink from the bar (more on that later), but I decline saying that it would probably get in the way of his razor. He laughs and says “yes,” reclining my seat. He explains that ordering a drink is more common when receiving a hair cut, or any other vertically-oriented service, I imagine.
What follows is 20 minutes that feels like two hours of hot towels and luxurious oils, creams and balms. Darryl opens the side of the cabinet, retrieving the first of countless hot towels. He places the towel over my beard and wraps the ends up over my face. After a couple of steamy minutes, he removes the towel and massages pre-shave oil into my beard. He places another hot towel on my face, allowing a few minutes for the oil to soften my beard.
Darryl removes the second towel and applies a warm lather of minty shaving cream. As he shaves me with an incredibly sharp straight razor, it is immediately clear that this isn’t anything like my practice of dragging a Mach 3 across my face for a few minutes. I am at the hands of a skilled artisan with 25 years of experience. Each stroke of the razor is precise, and it’s obvious that Darryl has developed a “feel” for how to carefully trim each section of a beard.
After the first pass, yet another hot towel is applied, followed by a second lather and shave against the grain. A final hot towel steams my bare face, after which an antiseptic/ingrown hair treatment is applied. This stings in a Macauley Culkin-esque way at first, but quickly becomes refreshing, and I know it will prevent any irritation. A soothing after-shave balm is rubbed onto my skin followed by a couple minutes of an ice-cold towel on my face to end the service.
I sit up from my reclined position refreshed, and with a face smoother than any part of any baby I know. The whole process takes only 20 minutes, but I feel as relaxed as if I’d taken an afternoon nap. Darryl explains that this is a new shave that he himself designed, and that while the regular price is $30, for the month of July they’re offering this brand new treatment for $15.
And, oh yeah, they serve beer. Attached to the barbershop is the place whence the hair-cut beers flow: a bar serving up an array of beers, wines, sakes and signature “saketinis.” But don’t worry, while the bar can stay open until 2:30 a.m., the barbershop closes at 9 o’clock. No drunken straight shaves or impromptu mohawks happening here.
I take a seat at the bar and bartender Cassouki gives me the rundown: $2 beers, all day, every day. Happy hour from 4 p.m. to 7p.m. every day, featuring half-price signature drinks and panini sandwiches. I ask what she likes, and she suggests the “yogatini,” a not-too-sweet combination of ginger, lemonade and sake, garnished with a stick of blue sugar crystals.
She whips up the drink while I look over the menu. I order a prosciutto and brie panini. Both are delicious, made more so to the frugal-minded as they are both half-price for happy hour.
We chat as I eat and drink, and I admit that a barbershop is not the first place I would think to stop and have a drink. She tells me that they’re actually quite busy most nights. Wednesday nights feature a new energy drink called Exhale. Thursday is “Quarter Night,” where first beers are 25 cents for employees of Scottsdale Quarter, which always draws a crowd. A DJ performs on these nights as well as on Saturdays.
And draw a crowd minibar.ber.shop should. It is a very unique concept, providing upscale barber services as well as delicious, affordable food and drink. As far as I know, there’s nowhere else in town where you can leave with a fresh face, a full stomach and a snootful.