Since moving to Detroit, I’ve been taking a gamble with my hair, getting it cut at random cosmetology establishments around the city. Whether it was one of those haircut chains attached to a supercenter or, dare I say it, a unisex salon, I’d just swing by, ask for a trim and hope for the best. And without a doubt, I always walked away with a lousy haircut. Now, I wouldn’t call myself a “hair guy,” per se, but I respect a good, clean cut that leaves me looking, at the very least, like an employable human being. Out of desperation, I even asked my wife (who is not a cosmetologist) to give it a shot, but we quickly realized that she was closing her eyes each time she snipped the scissors. In other words, my hair has taken quite the beating since coming to the city.
And then I found Standard Barber Company. Matt Temkin and Steve Economy, both originally from Farmington, began renovating the historic Reid Building back in 2013, deciding it would be the perfect place to open a barber shop. While neither of these entrepreneurs are barbers by trade, they both saw the potential for a barber shop in the heart of the city. “I was getting really interested in what was going on in Detroit,” says Temkin. “Barber shops are something people need, and between the different businesses and people that are in this community, we knew something like this would work.”
Once they had the location, Temkin and Economy began searching for the best barbers in the city. “We got a lot of bad haircuts in the process of looking for the right people,” says Temkin. But after much searching they found David Herrera and Joseph Walker, who were talented enough to, dare I say, make the cut. Temkin will be the first to tell you that these guys are the “the best barbers in the city.”
I took him up on this, scheduling an appointment for a shave and a haircut with David Herrera. I should note that Standard Barber Company is a popular place, so you should call a few days in advance to guarantee a cut. Herrera embodies two of the most important qualities a barber can have: he gives a mean haircut, and he’s easy to talk to. He also considers his craft to be an art form, rather than just a job, meaning that he’s dedicated to giving each of his clients the best possible experience.
Herrera is meticulous about his work. When I sat in his chair, it was clear that he was carefully calculating each moment and cut, and he made it a point to understand my desired look. The shave was an equally enjoyable experience as well, and while most men won’t readily say they enjoy being pampered, there’s something relaxing about a reclined chair, a hot towel, and a shave with a straight razor.
It’s been just over a year since Standard Barber Company first opened its doors, bringing quality haircuts to men in and around the city. The shop itself is top notch, complete with sleek floors, classic barbershop chairs and cabinets made from 100-year-old reclaimed wood. The atmosphere is also spot on, reminiscent of a barber shop from the early 1900s. And while I’ve been to other barbers that try to emulate this feel, Standard Barber Company makes it seem authentic, allowing its customers to take a step back in time, plop down in a well-cushioned chair, and get a haircut from two of the finest barbers around. Miranda Crace, our photographer for this piece, was mesmerized by the splendor of the establishment, going as far to say that “barber shops are so much cooler than salons.” And she is correct.
Standard Barber Company is open 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Its location, which is about a block from Campus Martius, is perfect for the countless people that are working in downtown Detroit. If you’re interested in getting one of the best cuts of your life, give them a ring at (313) 965-6500. I’m sure I’ll see you there.