Francis the Duke
Northern Liberties: 1050 North Hancock street, #77
Bart Blatstein’s trendy Piazza wouldn’t be complete without a vintage-flavored barbershop with an edgy twist. Enter the year-old Francis the Duke. The wide-open industrial space doesn’t feel a bit like your pop’s shop, but the close straight-razor shaves ($35 to $50) and tight scissor cuts ($30) will have you Don Draper-ing all over town. And when the lovely hostess asks, “Would you like a beer while you’re waiting?,” you know what to do.
Go here for: The city’s most comfortable shave.
Ranstead Hair Salon
Rittenhouse Square: 1811 Ranstead Street
This three-seat shop used to have barbers of the old-Italian-guy variety. But the Italianos have moved on, replaced by Tanya, a middle-aged Vietnamese woman who barely speaks any English. What she doesn’t have in linguistics she more than makes up for with the quickest, cleanest clipper cuts around. At $22 plus tip, she’s not on the super-cheap Chop Shop end of the scale, but a) she never gives you a cut that you have to go to someone else to fix; and b) I’ve never had a scalp, neck and shoulder massage at the end of a cut at Chop Shop. Or anywhere else, for that matter. Tanya provides a quick but stress-busting rubdown at the end of each appointment.
Go here for: A midweek walk-in trim.
The Original Cut Hut
Folsom: 237 Milmont Avenue
They don’t get more man-cave than this venerable family-run barbershop in Delaware County. In addition to sharp, frugally priced cuts and shaves (dad Bill has been straight-razoring for 35 years), you’ll find a flat-screen lounge always showing sports, plus a pool table. Barber tools are kept in shiny high-rise Craftsman tool chests. (There are plenty of Playboy and Maxim-type mags, too, but they’re kept out of sight, so you can safely bring Junior along.) For the more metrosexual among you, Cut Hut also offers facials, manicures and (ouch!) waxing.
Go here for: Groomsmen grooming.
The Barbershop at Borgata
Atlantic City: 1 Borgata Way
Yes, you go to the beach to be relaxed and casual, but that doesn’t mean you have to be unkempt and scruffy. Revel, Atlantic City’s new $2.4 billion resort, doesn’t have a salon, let alone a barbershop. But fear not, guys: Whether you’ve got an unruly mop or an out-of-control beard, the ladies at the Borgata have you covered. After a night of partying in A.C., a little primping might be just what the doctor ordered.
Go here for: The hangover-helping Hot Towel Treatment.
Midtown Village: 1324 Locust Street
Owner Joe McMenamin and cohorts BJ and Frank have developed an unmatched following for their classic cuts and expert shaves, all accompanied by a soundtrack of jazz greats like Stan Getz and Django Reinhardt. Whether you need a corporate ’do with a bit of panache or are finally ready to rock your inner rockabilly or greaser look (pop that collar!), you’re in good hands here. But make an appointment: Walk-ins are virtually nonexistent.
Go here for: The best damn haircuts in Center City.