Everybody’s talking about the new barber on Clinton Street and his neon sign. The old-fashioned barbershop, which opened at 104 Clinton St. a month ago, offers old-fashioned haircuts, old-fashioned straight-razor hot-foam shaves and an old-fashioned trim for an old-fashioned price.So what’s with that not-so-old-fashioned sign?
“It’s an eyesore!” one person complained on the Brooklyn Heights blog this week. “It’s “hideous,” said another poster.
Eyesore? Hideous? Aren’t those words typically reserved for really abominable things, like, oh, I don’t know, the Atlantic Yards development that will soon block out all sunlight in Fort Greene?
In other words, can everyone just take a deep breath?
The allegedly hideous sign is actually just a short ticker-style LED-covered mini-marquee that hangs just inside the window. It flashes up information like prices and shop hours in pleasant colors. It’s hardly the seizure-inducing, neighborhood-ruining disco ball some people are making it out to be.
And let’s face it — without the sign, most people would walk right by the below-street-level shop without even noticing. I suppose owner Robert Isakov could have put out an old-fashioned barber pole on the sidewalk — but then people would no doubt complain that it’s in the way.
Isakov, who runs the place with his brother Sergei, says he hasn’t received any complaints about his sign (the whiners have obviously chosen the anonymity of a blog).
“People like it so far. People are happy,” said Isakov, who advertises the place as “a classic barber shop with contemporary attitude.” Attitude or not, the Clinton Street Barbershop is definitely your father’s Oldsmobile, a place where men can go to bond, talk about sports and politics and complain about their wives — not just a place to get their hair cut. And with the proliferation of unisex salons, good-old-fashioned barbershops are being slowly phased out. There are dozens of hair salons in the Brooklyn Heights area. There are only three or four barbers.