When the Notable editors interviewed Gordon Richardson, creative director of TOPMAN, at the launch of their Vancouver flagship opening, we were surprised that the first style tip he doled out was not about one’s wardrobe, but rather their haircut. A well maintained mane indeed adds an element of flare and intent to a man’s look, and it appears Vancouver’s young professional men echo this sentiment.
In the last year several contemporary barbershops have opened across the city. After the launch of Dominion Barbers to Gastown’s open arms just over a year ago, the Donnelly Group is trying their luck at a second location: Killjoy Barbers and Cocktail Tavern in Yaletown.
As the name suggests, a visit to Killjoy doesn’t have to end with a haircut. A well stocked bar focusing on dark spirits, like mint-infused bourbon, awaits freshly shorn clients. The space transitions from the brightly lit vintage barbershop to a cool industrial cocktail tavern. The only thing missing is a secret passageway behind a spinning bookcase. Unconventional design features, like the deconstructed piano installation and array of Chromoly lights, complement the vintage barbershop look, while a full-sized shuffleboard table lines the window to keep waiting clients occupied.
We received our invitation to the launch of Killjoy from Jay Jones, Brand Ambassador and Executive Bartender for the Donnely Group. Jones takes his title quite literally and greeted guests with a warm smile followed by a custom designed bourbon cocktail. The shop’s three barber chairs were full with men treated to haircuts and straight razor shaves. Three signature bourbon-based cocktails were passed throughout the night, as well as bite-sized interpretations of the tavern’s meat and cheese plate menu. Finally, with a renewed love of bourbon’s smoky flavour, guests were gifted a bottle of Maker’s Mark while leaving to craft cocktails of their own.