Text and Photographs by Stephen Harmon
There are many, many barber shops on the Upper West Side, and everyone has their favorite. For some, it’s because of the skill of the barber or the barber’s banter. For some, it’s because of the look of the shop or the convenient location or reasonable prices.
My barber shop — the Amsterdam Barber shop — is unique. It has been in business in the same location — the east side of Amsterdam Avenue between 73rd and 74th Streets — for 108 years, since 1914.
It has had five owners, including the current one, Maria Shakhmurov. Maria came here in 1995 from Uzbekistan, as did my barber, Vlad. She worked in the shop from 1996, cutting men’s, women’s and children’s hair, until she bought it in 2004.
It’s my barber shop because of Vlad’s skill — he gives a true European haircut and beard trim, with a razor and hot towel – and his pleasant personality, and because of the look of the shop with its 100-year-old barber chairs.
This is a barber shop that serves the UWS community. It employs 4 barbers and is open 7 days a week and has senior discount prices on Monday and Tuesday. When I get my haircut and beard trim, it is pure Heaven!
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I like the Barber Shop on 80th — tucked into a little basement, with friendly barbers who do a really good job, for a fair price. Mark does a great haircut. And the other thing about them is that they’re great with kids — they joke around, make it all seem not scary, and do a good job. It’s been my go-to for years.
I agree. I’ve been using Mark for years and have always been pleased. And his charge is reasonable.
I used to go there but their shtick grew to be a bit too much for me – at first I thought they were funny (and did good haircuts) but then I decided to move on.
Mark has been my go-to guy since he opened in the neighborhood…what…10 years? Fast, efficient, remembers what you like, friendly.
He talks a little too much for my liking. I get a haircut to relax, not answer a hundred questions.
Big fan of Alex + Ruben – they run the Universal Barbershop (112th + Broadway) and Columbia Barbershop (122nd +Broadway) and the Elite Barbershop (92nd +Amsterdam) – though call ahead and find out where they are, varies day to day. They’re both wonderful musicians — Alex is a YouTube sensation with 2.5m views for his beautiful musicianship on the clarinet. (Search for Alexander Khafizov).
Agreed! Ruben has been my barber for years and I’m a loyal customer. He’s a skilled and meticulous barber. I wouldn’t let anyone else near my hair.
Been happy with Reamir on Columbus and 74th for years and years.
There’s a barber there –usually one of the last chairs. Never listens to what I want. Last time I went there he was alone in a foul mood. Never should have stayed. Awful experience. Had been going there for years. Found new place.
I’m a regular at Reamir. Great guys!
Me too — going here monthly for 15 years.
This would be a more convincing endorsement, perhaps, if we had a photo of the author after his haircut!
Juanito’s on 102 and Broadway. I left the UWS for the Midwest 6 years ago and I miss my Dominican barber, bagels, Chinese food, pizza, and Dino park with my kids.
This is my barber shop! Maria is wonderful. I always look forward to my visit and wholeheartedly recommend this terrific establishment
Dimitri at Reamir on Columbus between 74 & 75!
My favorite UWS Barber shop is new entry Japanese style- Masa-Kanai at 570 Columbus Avenue, near 88 Street. Great people, great haircuts, not old style but new style.
Amsterdam Barbers Mariya has been cutting my frizzy mop since 2012, just 2 weeks before I left for Uzbekistan ! On my return it was fun to share impressions of that country with her. As curly heads know, it is a joy to find a hairdresser who keeps us looking well-trimmed! Phyllis
Home is my favorite where I shave my bald head for nothing.
I like the Central Park Barber, just east of 72nd St entrance, at the lake. Great cuts, friendly, great conversations if you wish. Peter
My favorite, for years, was Tony’s Barber Shop on 72nd street between West End & B’Way, on the north side of the street, as long as Bernardo was cutting hair there. Then Tony sold his place to two guys from Russia and Bernardo moved to Amsterdam Barber Shop on Amsterdam between 73rd & 74th year. I moved with him. Bernardo is an artist hair sculpture. The best I ever saw. Then at the end of 2021 the owner of the shop basically terminated him, making room for a family member. Alas, I no longer go there either, but I take the ride to Larchmont, where Bernardo works. The trip is wort it. Bernardo is still the master Cutter.
I like the Central Park Barber, just east of the 72nd street entrance, at the lake. Great cuts, good conversation, if you wish, best setting, but weather dependent.
I like the place on Columbus below 85th. I don’t even remember the name, I just always go there.
My go to guy is Sharky at iStyle on Broadway across the street from Zabar’s
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© 2022 West Side Rag | All rights reserved.