The most interesting speakeasy in Philly: Blind Barber reopens

Blind Barber
Courtesy of Blind Barber

A Philadelphian walks into a barbershop to get a haircut, and instead, he gets a cocktail.

This sentence might seem a bit off—but at one speakeasy, the Blind Barber, it’s par for the course.

Owned by Josh Boyd, Adam Kirschenbaum and Philly-born owners Jeff Laub and Matt Breen, plus Major League Baseball All-Star Bryce Harper— Harper joined the company in 2018—the concept first opened in the city in 2020 but had to put their sights on pause when COVID-19 hit.

Now, this hybrid barber shop, speakeasy restaurant and multi-level back bar in Center City is celebrating their reopening with a bang as service on all fronts kicks off and offers an array of experiences. The delay in opening might have put a bit of a damper on the grand opening of this Philly location, but it hasn’t stopped the venue from gaining recognition around the city and even around the globe.

Courtesy of Blind Barber

Blind Barber has made international headlines and buzz for being a one-of-a-kind, well-known destination for grooming services, a drink and a bite, or both, and its even opened up in cities around the world. In the U.S. however, the Blind Barber now has six locations in Philadelphia, New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles.

As the release states, Blind Barber’s Philadelphia location is the largest in the country for the growing company. The Philadelphia location is nestled in between Walnut and Chestnut streets, at the corner of Juniper and Sansom streets in the Hale Building. The front entrance features all the vibes of a classic barber shop, including the iconic striped pole, but inside, patrons and guests will find 4,000 square feet of space with the barber shop to the front and a secret and discrete back door that opens into a completely different world. The first-floor back bar seats around 15 guests at two and four-top tables, plus at the bar itself which is dripping in gold trim and accents, warm brown and orange throw-back tones, cascading plants, vintage stonework, 70s inspired custom shag artwork, and amber glowing lights.

Courtesy of Blind Barber

It doesn’t stop there, either. If you continue to the left side of the room and ascend the staircase to the main restaurant and bar, you’ll be greeted with an expansive open dining room and lounge with unique and intimate banquet seating for two’s and four’s nestled between floor to ceiling bookcases. As you continue to check out the space, patrons will find vintage pieces, comfortable seating for large groups, and even a space for a DJ booth and dance floor for those nights where the Barber is open until 2 a.m. In total, for the overall layout, Blind Barber’s speakeasy restaurant and back bar can host in total around 70 for seated bar and dinner service. For special and private events, Blind Barber can accommodate 250 guests.

Courtesy of Blind Barber

The menu also has its own updated yet nostalgic appeal in both the flavors and the ingredients as well. At the helm of the kitchen is new Philly chef Alex Young, who has had his hand in other culinary metropolis’ such as New York and Atlanta. As the release states, for the new menu and his new culinary adventure at the Blind Barber, Chef brings influences from New American cuisine and brings them together with small details and intricate techniques to make simple foods more special. At Blind Barber, while the kitchen is on the smaller side, chef is bringing big flavors and an expanded menu to foodies throughout Philadelphia.

Courtesy of Blind Barber

A few standouts from the new menu includes their pimento dip, local pickle plate, seasonal salads and also an abundant amount of grilled cheeses ranging from an upscale caprese, to a broccoli and cheese, to a Cubano, to their take on what a French bakery would serve and everything in between. Cocktail-wise however, the menu continues to shine. Standouts on the libation side of the new offerings include their Strawberry Fields (made with vodka, Amaro Montenegro, Yellow Chartreuse, strawberry and lemon), Doug Funnie (boasting gin, fresh beet juice, orange blossom and blood orange simple,) Hot Heather (made with tequila, pamplemousse, pineapple, ginger syrup and lime,) Spiced Caillou (boasting mezcal, red pepper simple, Ancho Reyes Chilli, ginger and lime,) Whiskey with a Client (made with moonshine, Kentucky Bourbon, caramel apple and smoked cinnamon) and much more. The cocktails are made and designed by General Manager Phoebe Mortell, who brings many years of experience as a food and drink vet from DC and Philadelphia and is a familiar face from some local spots, such as The Cambridge, Loco Pez, and Hickory Lane.

As the release states, outside of signature cocktails and house specials, the bar program features around a dozen varieties of American favorites and craft beer selections, plus cider, seltzer and more. Wine lovers will find a half dozen red, white and sparkling options on top of everything else while bottle service includes a dozen standard and rotating selections. Blind Barber Philadelphia hosts Happy Hour from Tuesday to Saturday, from 5 to 8 p.m., with $5 Miller Life and Twisted Tea Tall Boys, $3 Miller Lite, $6-8 house wines, $8 Hot Heather Cocktail, $10 Strawberry Fields Cocktail and food specials and features. Drinking here is doing some good as well: With their partnership through ShoppingGives, they are donating, at minimum, 5% of a customer’s purchase to the cause of their choice at no extra cost to them.

That concept of camaraderie and community is shown throughout the establishment and is certainly served up full force.

Courtesy of Blind Barber

New hours for the barber shop are now Monday to Sunday, seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. New hours for the speakeasy restaurant and back bar are now Tuesday and Wednesday, from 5 to 11 p.m. (downstairs), and Thursday to Saturday, from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. (upstairs and downstairs).

For more information on the Blind Barber (1325 Sansom St.) visit blindbarber.com

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