Take a step back in time at the Waldorf Barbershop, one of Dublin's best kept secrets
A Dublin institution for those in the know, the Waldorf Barber is celebrating its 85th anniversary this year, and making a few changes
The Waldorf Barbers is one of Dublin's hidden gems. If you can find it hidden away on Westmoreland Street, marked only by a barber's pole above the door, then walking through the door is like taking a step back in time. From the decor to the music and the equipment, everything reminds you of your typical corner barbershop that you might have seen in movies about the 1950s. Speaking of, you might have seen the shop itself appear on the Electric Ireland ad a while back, at the 0:44 mark.
Part of the great institution's charm is that old style, but there is a downside to it. Heading there on a Saturday morning meant waiting a few hours as there was no way of booking an appointment, and while the wait was worth it, sometimes you just didn't have the time. There was no way to guarantee you could pop in on your lunch one day to get a trim and actually make it back to the office before it was time to clock out.
Even with that in mind, this particular JOE still wouldn't go anywhere else for our haircuts, it just meant that you had to put a little bit of extra planning into it. Although the price is a little bit above the average, so is the service and the quality of the cut. We've been other places, paid less, and been unhappy with what we got. We had to go back two weeks later anyway, so it ends up costing more in the long run.
What the Waldorf serves up are classic styles with the type of attention to detail and customer service that is a thing of the past in so many other places. While that's a large part of their charm, in the last few weeks, they've taken steps to modernise the business, not only introducing an appointments system, but also making more of their social media profiles.
Through those channels they've become, somewhat paradoxically, well known outside of Ireland, and have plenty of tourists dropping in to get a look at the place, and even a quick cut while they're there. With people stopping in on their travels from America and all over Europe, it seems strange that they should be still an undiscovered treasure for those who are already on their doorstep.
At a special launch event held in the barbershop this week, they unveiled a whole range of changes that they're bringing in to celebrate their 85th anniversary, including the aforementioned booking service, as well as a range of haircare and grooming products that will keep you looking your best from hair slick to pomade. What with it being the year of the beard, they've also decided to introduce a beard menu too, so you can have your facial hair styled while you're at it, or even go for one of their famous shaves.
The event looked at the history of hairstyles through the years since they opened their doors, and with the clean and retro stylings that the Waldorf offer back in fashion at the moment, from the quiff to the slick back, the classic vibe of the barbershop itself was evident in spades in the cuts on show.
The new store promises to bring a touch of modernity to a place that is timeless, without sacrificing the essence of the shop. From the moment that you sit in the classic barber's chair, get yourself a cup of freshly brewed coffee and hear the regular customers that the staff all know by name come in and out with the ring of the bell on the door, you know that you're somewhere special. Although there promises to be a few changes, what makes the Waldorf so special is the staff, the style and the cuts, none of which will be changing any time soon.