A haircut and a beer

barbershop beerWhile reading Fun in Saratoga's Dan's great post about his haircut at Swagger, the new barbershop in Saratoga, we took note of the fact that the shop offers customers a beer. As Dan wrote:

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.

It seems the beer with a cut has become a little bit of a trend.*

Rumors IV Men in Latham has offered customers for a cold one with their cut for a while. Adding to its rep as "the Hooters of haircuts," so does the new Knockouts on Wolf Road. And now Swagger. (We wouldn't be surprised if there are others.)

Update! B and Kim pointed out two more: the Men's Room in Albany and Executive Barber Shop in Latham.

A few shops in other cities have taken the "drink with a cut" angle even further. In Manhattan, a place on Wall Street keeps a stocked liquor cabinet. And a shop in the DC area serves martinis.

Earlier on AOA:
+ Barber poll: Jean Paul
+ Where should AOA Greg get his hair cut?

*There's old joke in journalism: if you can find three of something, it's a trend. So, uh, right.

photo: Fun in Saratoga Dan


Also, The Men's Room. At least, this is what I hear, I wouldn't know since I cut my own, no matter how much my roommate makes fun of me for it.

Now if only I could find a place that does shots and a shoeshine.

Speaking of which, good shoeshine places are pretty much gone from this world too. There is one in Empire State Plaza open when he feels like it, but I don't know of too many others.

I would totally love a cocktail with my haircut, although I'm usually happy with coffee at Townsend.

And B., well, it wouldn't be so bad if you didn't drink whiskey BEFORE the haircut.

Not to be a buzzcutkill, but I can't imagine how serving alcohol in a commercial establishment without a liquor license is even remotely legal.

Executive Barber Shop in Latham has the same drink-and-a-cut deal, complete w/free wifi.


High end salon/spas often serve a glass of champagne. I think you only need a liquor license to sell alcohol. The rules may be different when offering a complimentary dring or even a wine tasting.

It is illegal to serve alcohol in a licensed barber shop, nail salon or beauty shop in New York State. If the Dept. of State Division of Licensing catches wind of this they will pay the shop a visit.


Would you care to cite the law/reg. which prohibits serving alcohol in such locations?


Rumors IV Men hasn't offered the complimentary beer in many, many months.

Looks like there will be one fewer place offering this kind of thing: http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=894652&category=&BCCode=&newsdate=1/29/2010

Though to be fair beer isn't specifically mentioned.

General Business Law Article 27 Part 160 says :
Food and beverages are not to be prepared, kept of sold in the licensed premisis.

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