Review: Groom Philly, the Philadelphia man’s best kept secret

A quality haircut is one of the best investments that the male fashioniser can make. If one takes the time to consider it, the amount of pressure to have a great haircut is astronomical: it has to complement every outfit, encapsulate your very complicated personality, and even make you look good when you’re not wearing anything else! That can be a rather hefty order to fill. Correspondingly, it is of the utmost importance to find a barber who truly understands that pressure and can deliver a satisfactory product. For Philadelphia-based men, Groom Philly meets the bill.

Groom Philly

Located in the basement of the relatively unassuming Arts Condominiums in the Center City of Philadelphia, Groom Philly is a throwback to classic barbershops (yes, complete with barber’s pole). The vibe of the well-lit shop is warm and welcoming, with a friendly shade of orange tastefully dominating the décor. The staff is equally receiving; all three or four of their adept crew are likely to greet you upon entering.

Joe McMenamin, the leader of the initiative, founded the image of the space upon a 1920’s Orient Express barbershop, and the current adornments stay true to that vision. One antique sign invites clients to “have a smoke” before the manager meets with them while Frank Sinatra buzzes through the 1950’s Pandora station. If Groom Philly had to be described in one word, it would be “classy,” which also extends to their forte in haircuts.

Although the expert staff will work with whatever requests a client has, the house specialty, if you will, is sleek, 1950’s, Mad Men cuts (you’ll notice the essential American Crew products at each barber’s chair). Conveniently, these styles are experiencing a significant revival at this time, so trend followers should take particular note of this, but even more importantly, these cuts are more or less timeless. Pardon the cliché, but you can’t go wrong with these cuts. If you’re still lost for ideas or direction, fear not. The shop is equipped with a look book in the waiting area that is sure to provide inspiration for a hairstyle request.

Perhaps most impressively, Groom Philly goes out of its way to provide a truly vintage barber experience. This means using real barber razors to touch up back-of-neck scruff and even offering a quick (but incredible) scalp massage. All-in-all, the stellar service and striking dedication to classic barber service at Philly Groom is downright exceptional.

Groom Philly, The Arts Condominium Lower Level, 1324 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
www.groomphilly.com

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Author

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David is a finance student at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Born and raised in Indiana, he has always been passionate about fashion despite growing up in the conservative American Midwest. A former venture capital intern and high school debater, David’s sense of style is equally informed by classically preppy, Ivy League academia and a love for the grungy, bandana-sporting, Americana wear of the East Coast. He is more than welcoming of questions, comments, and criticisms directed towards him via Twitter - @DavidHirschy.