Or, my alternate heading: Why you should stop getting $13 haircuts at a chain salon in a strip mall.
I was on Caroline Street last week and found myself in front of Swagger, the cool barber shop ("haircuts and whatnot") with just the right amount of attitude at 40 Caroline Street across from D'Andrea's Pizza. (ADDED: Swagger has since moved to 15 Ballston Avenue across from Pizza Hut, Starting Gate Bar & Grill, and Strike Zone Bowling Alleys)
I knew I'd love the place the second I walked in. In fact, I felt like an idiot for not discovering it sooner. The wait at Swagger is 90% of the reason I will keep going there. First of all, the music they play is more than just cool, it's just a great and unique mix and style. I thought at first it was simply a Country/Southern Rock/Rockabilly mix, which itself would have been fantastic, but then I heard some Bee Gees and some vintage B-52's (pre "Love Shack", thankfully) and I knew I found my haircut home for the next few decades.
If the music didn't sell me, then the decor, with great photos as well as movie and music related posters and other just cool stuff, would have done the trick. Have I mentioned yet that the place was cool? Finally, when my eventual, ummm I guess barber, Jenn (let's just say she's very different from the barbers I had when I was a kid, that's for sure), offered me a beer, I was in Caroline Street Utopia (at least Caroline Street afternoon utopia - later in the evening my Caroline Street utopia involves bars and even later it involves Esperanto, but I digress). And it's not mainstream and wimpy Bud Light or Corona they offer - nope - Swagger offers Pabst Blue Ribbon and Schlitz beer - the same blue collar cheap stuff with a bite that I used to steal from my Dad 25 years ago. Good brew, and it fits right in there.
Owned by Daniel Breen, who mans the other barber chair, Swagger is open Monday through Saturday from roughly 10am-7pm, with the exact hours a bit flexible depending on the number of appointments, which are recommended (518-260-2112), but walk ins are welcome and they will do their best to fit you in. Swagger offers haircuts ($18) and shaves (the "whatnot" I guess). Jenn is also available to cut womens' hair, Dan sticks to mens' cuts and picking the music. Oh and BTW not only was the experience great, so was the cut. My boss says I look great - asks me if I'm losing weight. Support your local cool business and go there soon!
ADDED - The T-U's Saratoga Seen blog just linked this entry - Thanks Christen!