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His Canberra: Groomed

Drew Baker

Being faithful is important.

Not just to your partner … but also the guy who cuts your hair. And your PT at the gym. And the coffee shop where they know you by name and don’t even ask what you want.

So when Ms HerCanberra said “you should go and try a barber for your next cut,” I was not at all receptive. I have been seeing my current hair fellow for about 18 years (I feel old saying that) and it wouldn’t be right. So I told her to naff off and get someone else to write the article.

Fast forward a few months and my hair fellow had a serious accident with a Japanese kitchen knife and came off second best, resulting in surgery to repair the damaged tendon on his cutting hand and six weeks away from the salon. So I was left short on options and figured I may as well give the barber thing a go, hoping this would curry some favour with HerCanberra. Hey she might even start calling me HisCanberra rather than that Mr HerCanberra name that mates love to remind me about over a beer!

That’s a really long-winded way of explaining how I came to visit Groomed on Lonsdale Street in Braddon. I don’t think I could have cheated on my hair guy and gone there otherwise. I will come back to this point at the end of the article, assuming you are still with me by then….

Steve and Steve from Groomed.

Stephen and Steve. Or just Steve and Steve.

 

Anyhow so I rang made an appointment for a cut. He asked did I want anything else. “Like what?” I asked. Options included a hot shave, a beard trim, a moustache trim or a shoe polish. Being a suit-wearing clean-shaven guy who had meetings either side of the lunchtime appointment, there was no option for facial hair services. So a cut and shoe polish it was to be!

“Groomed – The Gentleman’s General Store” to refer by the full name, is located in the newly opened Ori building on Lonsdale Street in Braddon, just behind where Frugii have recently opened.

I was greeted by Stephen (the founder) who introduced me to Steve (the barber) and given a look around. It’s a great fitout, with a mix of traditional equipment and warm timber throughout. Kudos to Stephen who did the fitout with a friend over the festive period while working another job, the end result is great.

Attention to detail is everywhere … the original barber seats that were brought down from Queensland, the use of copper and wood barrels, the herringbone floor.

Chair is great – barrels serve many purposes – gramophone pipes gentlemanly music throughout.

Chair is great – barrels serve many purposes – gramophone pipes gentlemanly music throughout.

I am pretty sure the whole point of this was a cut, which happened with remarkable efficiency and speed. Turns out Steve has been a barber for around two decades and knows his stuff. He asked what I wanted, I told him, he said “no problems”. I asked if he had any suggestions to improve ‘my look’ to which he responded pretty bluntly “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Nice, I like an honest man. End result was spot on.

Turns out from our conversation that not everyone loves his honesty, he told me about some guy who brought in a photo and asked for a similar cut. Steve said the cut in the photo looked looked like Kim Jong-un and told the client he’d look like an idiot. I didn’t ask how that client relationship panned out.

There were a few great touches … the tissue paper around my neck to protect my white business shirt – the clean blade shave around the neck – the choice of several top notch after shaves – and the company of a few good men throughout.

Stephen is a great guy who’s got an impressively-sculpted and slightly hipster-esque beard. Interestingly he said the current trend for beards means that demand for the hot shave has been less than expected. I wanted to tell him a joke I heard about hipsters with beards in Braddon but thought the better of it……

The shoe polish? Awesome, my shoes have never been that shiny. Also far better than me frantically polishing them at 8:05am while yelling at the kids to pack their schoolbags the morning of an important meeting.

I’m with you Steve on that one. Shoes are indeed looking great.

I’m with you Steve on that one. Shoes are indeed looking great.

So what’s the end result?

I reckon it’s a great experience and encourage Canberra guys to give it a go. I say that because I would never have given it a go, were it not for my persuasive wife and my incapacitated hair guy. I’ll be going back.

FYI I paid $45 for the cut and the shoe polish was on Stephen.

An option that caught my attention is the wedding package, whereby the groom brings his wedding party to Groomed for a cut and shave before the big event. I would jump at the offer (bzzt, already married), especially given they will close the shop for you and have no objections to a few Peronis being consumed while the men are groomed in preparation for the big event.

Final points? They also have clothes (ran out of time on that one) and a great range of hair products. I tried the Clay Pomade which looked great but took some effort to get out in the shower the next morning!

clothes

Some nice threads here.

 

Highly recommended – give it a go gents!

the essentials

What: Groomed
Where: 65/30 Lonsdale Street, Braddon (in the Ori building)
How much: $45 for a cut; first shoe shine free
Call: 02 6181 4310
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.groomedonlonsdale.com.au

user

Drew Baker

Drew is a born and bred Canberran, and is still here despite a few attempts to escape over the years! He is an avid runner, loves to eat and drink, and has a quiet passion for supporting menswear retailers across Canberra and beyond. He is the other half of Amanda Whitley, the founder of HerCanberra. More about the Author

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