Axe & Hatchet
Axe & Hatchet Grooming Club runs in the family. Well, barbering runs in the family.
"My old man was a barber, so I grew up in a barbershop," says an affable Dante Perrone, owner of Axe & Hatchet. Beside Perrone sits an antique barber chair from the 1920s, which was his grandfather's barber chair in Italy. The chair was passed down to Perrone's father, a longtime barber in St. Catharines. And the chair now sits in the front window of Axe & Hatchet, Yorkville's newest barbershop.
Opening at the beginning of August, the sleek and lengthy interior is modern chic. The front desk and barber stations are handmade by Perrone from reclaimed barn wood and steel piping. The waiting area's table is an old wagon wheel with cast iron footing turned on its side with a glass top. A barber's pole spins by the front door. There's a touch of a wood cabin fused with the layout and feel of a modern day salon.
As I walk the shop, a couple bottles of scotch sit idle, ready to be enjoyed. A couple men's magazines sit on the front table. Eminem's "My Name Is" is playing overhead on the shop's music system. Before I chat with Perrone, a 30-something in a crisp suit is getting cleaned up.
Axe & Hatchet both fits in and stands out in the heart of Yorkville, which boasts your typical high-end salons. A high-end salon, in fact, is where Perrone got his start in the city and worked for seven years.
"I just saw the need for a men's shop in the area," Perrone explains. "I mean, there's nothing catered to the fellas. My goal was to bring modern haircuts with an old barbershop feel."
"I wanted to get back to the roots."
With his extensive hair styling training and experience, Perrone delivers salon-quality cuts in a barbershop environment. This isn't a quick 15-20 minute you're-in-and-out trim with the clippers. This is a rip-out-a-page-from- Esquire -and-bring-it-in type of shop. They do it all.
"From bald fades right up to disconnected cuts to textured crops. We can do pretty much anything." The stylists, of which there are currently two full-time and one part-time, are as comfortable with scissors as they are clippers. But with this in mind, Axe & Hatchet isn't your $25-a-pop shop either. This is Yorkville. A cut will run you $50, straight razor shaves are $35, and The Works, a cut and shave, is $75.
Having only been open for a couple weeks, Perrone is ambitious. As the latter part of the name suggests, he hopes to eventually have members join making it a club. Essentially, down the road, members will pay an annual fee and will be able to come in as often as they want to get cleaned up. There will also be the odd event like scotch tastings for the members.
Photos by Morris Lum