rod gun barber

Toronto barber shop is also a semi-secret venue for intimate concerts

Sometimes a million dollar idea isn't only about the money. Rod, Gun & Barbers has been a barber shop in the Junction since 2014, known for its haircuts, wet shaves, cigars, beer, booze and also a live music series on weekends.

In an effort to create the coolest place ever, owner Jeff James connected with an actual rod and gun club, combining his love of hunting and fishing with a barber shop and licensed bar.

A brilliantly directed, highly stylized promotional clip from a few years back acts like a Hollywood movie script based on a true story.

While there are typically no live performances during the haircuts, and appointments are always encouraged, there is no denying the beauty of a barber shop where you're greeted with a pint.

The lockdowns almost destroyed this gem, and a huge casualty was the Parkdale location which grew out of the original Junction spot, still standing at 2877 Dundas Street West.

"It will take years to recover from this financially," says James. "I lost a lot of money and I don't have the personal wealth to carry it. COVID [also] destroyed service industry jobs. I had about half the staff pack up and leave, to Quebec, Alberta, Peterborough."

James says the loss of the barbers meant he couldn't find enough staff for the two locations anyway.

Now that restrictions have been lifted they're back to programming live music in the Junction location.

It was something the barber shop actually started doing back in 2014. They programmed live music on weekends and found they knew lots of musicians who wanted to perform. 

These days, musicians that play at Rod, Gun & Barbers include those spanning genres from country blues to hard rock.

James expects to keep the concerts going for the foreseeable future. There's no cover charge but a pitcher is passed around for tips. The capacity of the shop is only 29 people.

Lead photo by

Ori Dagan

Latest Videos

Latest Videos

Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Music

Fans devastated after SZA cancels Toronto concert again after postponing last minute

Tennis stadium will be transformed into Toronto's newest live music venue

The world's first Taylor Swift trivia escape room is coming to Toronto

Fans line up for hours outside Toronto club after Drake makes surprise appearance

KISS abruptly cancels Toronto show and people are fuming

Drake shows off Toronto to the world in over-the-top new video

Toronto ranked the most visited music tour destination in the world

Green Day coming to Toronto in 2024 and they're bringing other 90s throwback bands