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July 24 2014

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F.S.C. Barber Goes Bicoastal

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Who among us doesn’t harbor a tiny (read: not so tiny) crush on the dapper, mustachioed, vest-donning gentlemen that run (and frequent) New York’s Freemans Sporting Club and F.S.C. Barber? The shearing destination of choice for downtown scenesters who not only care about their cuts but also about the products they slather into their precise fades and carefully curated mop tops was one of the first such establishments to crop up on New York’s Lower East Side. Now, West Coasters are getting in on the old-timey grooming action. “I’ve been thinking about it for a long time,” F.S.C. Barber co-founder Sam Buffa says of the decision to start a third outpost of his concept salon in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District with his brother Jonah. Officially opening tomorrow, the barbershop’s signature straight razor shaves and smart haircuts (humanely priced at $40) will be on offer on the corner of 18th Street and Valencia. Its comprehensive apothecary made the trip from the East Coast, too, featuring niche favorites from Malin + Goetz, Marvis toothpaste, Geo F Trumper shaving soaps, Odin candles, and badger hair shaving brushes. “Five years ago, I don’t think the guys in San Francisco would have been ready—but I’m really enjoying men’s style out here right now: Americana but more outdoorsy, with a seventies-Patagonia, Yosemite sort of feel,” says Buffa, who grew up in Kings Mountain, California. In keeping with the West Village and Lower East Side F.S.C. locations, the roomy 1,200-square-foot space is decidedly antiquarian: Vintage hand-carved mahogany and marble barber stations (originally created for the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair), salvaged maple flooring from Virginia, and, for the waiting area, a red oak replica of a 1920′s railroad station bench. A small branch of the Freemans Sporting Club menswear store is conveniently located right next door. (Word to the wise/hungry: It is also a mere block away from Bi-Rite Creamery, which serves the finest salted caramel ice cream money can buy). “San Francisco is having a good moment right now,” says Buffa. “I really want this to be a neighborhood shop—just a comfortable place for people to hang out.” You don’t have to ask us twice.

Photo: Ethan Scott for FSC Barber

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