Kit Stiefel gives David Dean a meticulous mustache trim at The Barber Shop at Zuriick. Photo by Adam Finkle.
A man sits alone in the big barber chair under an angular chandelier, the young bespectacled barber moving around him with scissors flashing. It looks more like a scene from a sculpture studio than the usual Norman Rockwell vision of an American barber shop. But a haircut at The Barber Shop at Zuriickis man-styling the modern way.
The Barber Shop started as a single chair operation in the back of a retail store devoted to handmade shoes, hand-knitted beanies and handcrafted glassware. Zuriick’s owner Chad Tovey sees a thread connecting all these elements–you could call it the art of manliness. “Men are spending more time on their whole look than they used to,” says Tovey. “They are appreciating quality and the time it takes to achieve it.” That goes, he says, for everything from tats to shaves.
The barber, Kit Stiefel, is young and more enthusiastic about barbering than one could imagine anyone being. “I always knew I wanted to find a craft, something hands-on,” he says. After trying his hand at paramedic training and bread baking, he apprenticed in a salon and realized that what he liked and was good at is cutting men’s hair. Now, he says, he goes home and watches barbering videos, much to his wife’s frustration.
“There’s a whole community of barbers,” he says, much of it possible because of Instagram, which is how he gets most of his business. He instructs his clients, old and young, as he works, encouraging them to find their natural part, advising them which of the several pomades Zuriick sells would be best in their hair and beard and how to maintain their look once they leave. The Barber Shop has been a big success–so big, that in October, Zuriick expanded the space and added two more chairs and barbers to help out with the demand. Stiefel even offers specialized treatments like the Hangover—a scalp massage, alternating hot and cold towels and a cup of Charming Beard coffee.
This isn’t a Salt Lake phenomenon—all over the US. men are learning to love the man-cave luxury of pampering—scalp massage, hot shaves, razor-cut necklines. “This is the best part,” murmurs the client in the chair as he bends his head slightly and Stiefel scrapes the straight-razor carefully over his neck. Forget you ever saw Sweeney Todd.
875 E. 900 South, SLC, 801-400-2557