CityBeat Article by Jim Ruland: Where Everybody Knows Your Mane January 15 2013
"Imagine it’s 1899 and you want to know what’s going on in the world. You really only have two options: buy a newspaper or head to the barber shop."
"In the days before indoor plumbing, electricity and cheap, disposable razors, regular stops at the barber shop were essential to good grooming. But hygiene wasn’t the only attraction. Barber shops were places where a gentleman could spend an hour socializing, reading the papers, catching up on local news and, of course, getting a first-class shave and a haircut. And because the barber shop was often the first stop for weary travelers riding the rails, they were a great place to acquire out-of-town news, too."
"But somewhere along the line, men lost their way. We stopped going to barber shops and started going to hairdressers in anonymous, interchangeable salons."
"Instead of clippers and straight razors, stylists used scissors and blow dryers. And a shave? Forget about it. But they’d happily highlight our tips or change our hair color for a hefty fee."
"Marvin Attiq, proprietor of Barber Side, had seen enough. He decided to bring back barbering with a distinctly old-fashioned feel."
"Barber Side (3506 Adams Ave. in Normal Heights), is packed with Americana. From the barber pole out front to the diamond-patterned floor, Barber Side is as old-school as it gets."
"'The barber chairs are from 1948,' Attiq says. 'I got three of them in Colorado. Rebuilt the others that I found in old barber shops. I found a lot of stuff online, yard sales, alleys. I searched everywhere.'"
"Attiq, who sports a handlebar mustache that looks like it’s straight out of the Gilded Age, has been a collector all his life. He got his start cutting hair as a kid by giving his friends mohawks..."
Excerpted from CityBeat's 2011 Best of San Diego edition. Section written by Jim Ruland.
"You’ll be greeted by a barber as soon as you enter the shop. Conversations are carried out over the droning buzz of clippers. The smell of pomade hangs in the air with the occasional whiff of menthol and wintergreen. Whether you go for a full-on shave or a regular haircut, the scrape of a straight razor on your skin feels different than any other shaving experience. And is there a more bracingly pleasant sensation than a hot-towel treatment?..."
"Barber Side has been in operation since 2007 but has doing business out of its 3506 Adams Ave. address in Normal Heights since December 2009. The décor is a confusing mish-mash of pre- and post-war Americana. Boxing illustrations, bowler hats and cigarette signs. It’s a like a depository for cool, useless stuff that a man reluctantly parts ways with when his family outgrows its house. Even the barber chairs are relics, marvelous hunks of metal with ashtrays built into the arm rests..."
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