This New Barbershop Has Hot Shaves, Free Whiskey and Vinyl
Your one-stop shop in DFW
Raja Ratan has been helping men dress better since 2003, when he opened Q Clothier, a custom suiting store in Dallas. That was followed by Rye 51, a casual counterpart that opened next door to Q’s West Village location in 2012, with high-quality denim, shirts and other ready-to-wear items. Since then, he’s expanded those businesses to more cities across Texas and the South, including Fort Worth, Houston, Atlanta, Nashville and New Orleans. And now, he’s addressing mens’ style and grooming from the neck up, with the debut of Mr. Winston’s, a barbershop that just opened its doors in Dallas, with more stores to come.
The concept for Mr. Winston’s was born from a personal need. Ratan says that he couldn’t find a quality haircut or hot shave without sitting in an overly themed establishment or being upsold subscriptions and packages he didn’t want. So he decided to create his own barbershop to offer his customers and the community an approachable hub for haircuts, shaves and friendly conversation.
The first shop is a cozy 300 square feet that was carved out of the front of the Q Clothier and Rye 51 in-house alterations room. The space has four leather chairs, an arched ceiling covered in navy tiles and warm walnut wood framing each station.
Services can be booked online and include haircuts and hot shaves, beard trims, brow waxing and gray blending. Combine services for a comprehensive clean-up, or stop in for an impromptu shampoo just because it feels good. The shop is also available to rent out for groomsmen, colleagues or any small group that wants to enjoy the space to themselves, with fresh cuts and good drinks.
Ratan plans to expand the concept to multiple locations in DFW and across Texas, as well as the other Southern cities where his clothing stores operate. When possible, he’ll go after adjacent locations to keep the trio together, but he envisions larger spaces for ensuing shops, ideally hitting closer to 1,000 square feet and eight to 10 chairs at the most.
“I want to keep that local barbershop feel, with camaraderie and people interacting and chatting,” he says. “I think when you get to 15 chairs and up, it’s more a cattle call and less of a boutique experience.”
Part of that experience includes a selection of complimentary whiskeys and beers offered to each guest when they walk in. Music will be playing on the record player, and old-school movies will play on the large TV. Barbers are happy to talk sports or current events, if that’s what customers want. But when booking services, you can select the “quiet card,” which lets your barber know you prefer to relax and enjoy some downtime.
This isn’t Ratan’s first brush with grooming services. Rye 51 has a single barber chair in the front of the store, where guys can book a session with a master barber. It’s a popular feature, but with just one chair, service is limited. With Mr. Winston’s, he can offer more cuts and shaves.
The new concept has also spawned a line of men’s grooming products. Developed with a custom operation in Houston, Mr. Winston’s sells pomades as well as hair and beard moisturizers in-person at Mr. Winston’s and Rye 51 stores and via Mr. Winston’s website. Custom scents include Cinder & Smoke, Vanilla Oud and Whiskey Rose — so you’ll smell good, but not like everyone else.
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