Don’t Let the Name Fool You: Joe and Bart’s Unisex Salon

This unassuming storefront is a center of neighborhood life

Recently Ned Berke over at Sheepshead Bites ran articles regarding the demise of the old Mister Figaro’s Barber Shop as well as it’s rebirth as a modern salon. What really piqued my interest was a post back in April which listed the neighborhood’s manly barber shops. As someone who grew up in Marine Park near the border of Sheepshead Bay, I’d like to humbly add another to the list:

Their business cards may call it a  ‘Unisex Salon’, the sign outside simply reads ‘Barber Shop’, but to their loyal customers in the neighborhood it will always be known as Joe and Bart’s.

When you walk into Joe and Bart’s you may be greeted with a hot cup of espresso or directed to a box of Italian pastries taking up one of the chairs in their waiting area. You might be treated to some free entertainment by their cast of regulars. You could even run into Al Pacino stopping by to say hello in between filming scenes for a new movie around the corner. One thing that’s certain is you will experience a barber shop in much the same way New Yorkers have for generations.

On a busy Saturday afternoon Joe takes a moment to relax between haircuts

Bart poses in front of photos of some of his youngest customers

This particular Saturday Jerry the house comedian is engaging in a back-and-forth with another member of the shop’s extended family. Their exchange is a combination of improvisational comedy and playing the dozens. His partner in this routine is sporting a kangol, saint medallion, money clip and doesn’t want his picture taken. They’re poking fun at each others ethnic origins, a proven Borscht Belt classic. Jerry is Lithuanian and his opponent is puzzled at just what stereotypes he can use as ammunition.

“What the hell do Lutheranians eat anyway?”

Jerry seems to win by default as the conversation moves on to more easily identified targets which they go after in tag team fashion: namely the unidentified customer’s wife who is of German-Irish descent.

“A-drunk-and-a-Nazi; there’s nothing worse than that.”

It is important when documenting such exchanges to remember that the opinions of clients do not necessarily reflect those of Joe and Bart. Even if they do make Joe, Bart and everyone else, including myself, laugh really, really hard.

Jerry has the gift of gab

My father and I have both been going to Joe and Bart’s for years, we plan to keep coming back and we’re not alone. It is not unusual for longtime customers to drive in from Long Island and New Jersey. In his spare time Joe often takes his show on the road; cutting clients’ hair at their corporate offices in Midtown Manhattan.

It may be located in a small, unassuming storefront but this place will always be a neighborhood institution.

Joe and Bart’s is located in Brooklyn at 2087 Haring Street, just north of Avenue U. They can be reached by phone at 718 646 9568. Appointments and walk-ins are welcome.

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4 Comments

Filed under Everyday People

4 responses to “Don’t Let the Name Fool You: Joe and Bart’s Unisex Salon

  1. Most of the times i visit a blog I notice that most blogs are amateurish. On the contrary,I have to say that you have done a good job here.

  2. Pingback: The Death of Liz And A Return To Joe And Bart’s | Wandering NYC

  3. Pingback: A Barbershop Duo Worth A Mention | Sheepshead Bay News Blog

  4. I almost never drop remarks, however i did some searching and wound up here Dont Let the Name Fool
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