40 and up
696 Valencia @18th ST
Barber, bloodletter, tooth extractor…in old times, one could be all three and offer these services under one roof! Luckily times have changed since the Medieval barber shops of yesteryear. But while you won’t find leeches or crowns at Valencia’s newly opened F.S.C Barber, you can still rely on finding a good old fashioned straight-edge shave there, maybe even a haircut and shoe shine…
Originally founded by Sam Buffa, F.S.C Barber (aka: Freemans Sporting Club Barber) began in New York City. The first location was on the corner of Freeman Alley off of Rivington, it was coupled with Tavoo Somer and William Tigertt’s popular Freemans Restaurant of ubiquitous taxidermy housed at the end of the tiny overgrown alley, and it shared space with the Freemans Sporting Club of fine suits and rugged outdoors clothes hand-selected by Somer and Tigertt.
After a second NYC location landed Buffa on the corner of Horatio and West 4th this Half Moon Bay native has finally made the leap back to the Left Coast, teaming up with his brother Jonah Buffa to bring his particular, stylish, bygone sensibility and attention to detail to the Mission.
What you’ll find at the new F.S.C Barber, beyond honest service and dapper duds (yes, the clothing outpost came with), is a beautiful, airy space completed by antique barber chairs and a 6 station hand-carved mahogany back-bar originally created for the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair – which Sam Buffa miraculously found at an antique outpost in Texas. (While, sadly, the Freeman Restaurant urban hunting lodge replete with potent drinks and artichoke dip did not make it out to San Francisco, you can always go down the street to Bar Tartine and get a similar vibe!)
You do not need an appointment. A straight shave will set you back $40. Bring your lumberjack beard and you will get properly trimmed and outfitted. The tired allusions to Prohibition Era Boardwalk Empire style revival seem to show no signs of letting up anytime soon.