Damn! We were hoping that Danny Klotz’ Old Barber Shop was going to be a café version of beer lovin’ Dr Follicles hair salon, but turns out, it’s just a designer café on the old Barbers of Seville site. That’s okay. What it lacks in pomade, it more than makes up for in style, energy and gooey chocolate babka.
Coffee snobs might gasp in horror to hear that the custom blend comes from Genovese. Sure, it’s more corporate than one tatted up dude roasting in his shed, but they do actually small batch roast, so pipe down Chachi. Chef-turned-barista Trent Heffer turns the blend into decent espressos that are consistent, on temperature and served in cups all the colours of the Care Bears.
They’re working with no more than a kitchen bench, but it’s getting a solid workout, serving up a metric eff-tonne of daily changing salads, and piadina’s to the weekday work crowds. Try the prosciutto, fior di latte (that’s a buffalo mozzarella type cheese), and olive tapenade. Its hot’n’hefty and arrives on a beautiful sanded wooden board. Saturday morning suffering is alleviated by an oven baked croque madame, AKA a ham and cheese toastie topped with mustard spiked béchamel and a fried egg. It will temporarily save, but in the long term end your life.
The Richmond hood means the considered space attracts a lot of local design types, convening around the flower strewn trestle table beneath obligatory photos of ye olde barbers. On weekends, the sunny front deck draws in the pooch and pram brigade. They're following the basic cafe drill here, but it's a damn sexy space run by guys who say “have a nice day", and actually mean it. Worth a visit.