MICHAEL HEATON AND JOSH RICHARDS
A Como barber shop has been allowed to incorporate a barista service in the latest instance of a growing trend around Perth.
Short Black and Sides, located on Labouchere Road, operated as a hair and beauty salon for the previous occupants before the men’s grooming business took over.
The premises opened its doors in November as a barber shop as it awaited approval for a café from the City of South Perth.
Part-owner Stephanie Both said that plans for the combined barber and barista business had been in the making for some time.
“It was already a salon beforehand so we could trade as a barber but to go ahead with the café licence we had to do it separately,” Ms Both said.
“We probably thought of the idea before it even became a trend and it’s actually come out and become more of a thing now.
“When we get clients in here they say they like the feel and vibe of the shop and that it’s more like a Melbourne feel.”
Both said that what she hoped to achieve with her haircut and coffee service was one simple objective.
“We hope that people can come in and be able to feel relaxed,” she said.
“We want them to actually enjoy their time in here and receive good customer service all round.”
Short Black and Sides has joined a growing number of Perth barbers doubling as cafés, with Perth CBD-based Uncle Joe’s, and the Milk Barber in Hillarys, having been in operation for the past two years.
Uncle Joe’s Manager Cheree Veletta said that their city-based location was the driving force behind their barber and barista concept.
“We’re in the CBD and get a lot of workers so people are not on holidays,” Ms Veletta said.
“They are working, so rather than having a beer or a scotch they’re going to have a coffee.
“So for us it’s very much about supplying a good coffee and having a beverage that suits the location and demographic of our customers.”
The Milk Barber part-owner Brian Shields said there was a market for their business in their area and they had been well-received by the local community.
“We’ve always had a passion for coffee and barbering and there’s never been anything down at Hillarys Boat Harbour in terms of what we deliver,”Mr Shields said.
“We want to create a kind of community hub and social area for everyone to come down and enjoy themselves.”
Murdoch University Professor of Economics David Butler has noticed the increasing number of barber and barista shops in Perth and says the two services complement each other.
“People who are good at chatting to customers while they are giving them a haircut can also be quite good at chatting to customers when they are making them a coffee so it is an overlapping skill set in a way,” Professor Butler said.
“It’s also a better way to make use of space and provides an alternative for the customer rather just waiting in line.”
Ms Both said she hoped the café would be fully operational once renovations are complete within the next month.