First Look: Temescal Alley Barbershop Opens In Oakland

Now East Bay guys won't have to venture into the city to get a reasonably priced haircut in a super-charming settling. This change is thanks to the brand-spanking-new Temescal Alley Barbershop, which just opened its doors in Oakland this past weekend. The brainchild of former wood and sheet metal craftsman Bradley Roberts (the husband of Reliquary owner, Leah Bershad), the old time-y spot located in the rapidly rising Temescal 'hood serves up $22 haircuts, $22 hot razor shaves, and $10 beard trims for the fellas, all in an uber-masculine, throwback setting. Take a virtual tour of the shop in our slideshow (plus, find out more about the inspiration behind it), and be sure to head over there in person to see what all the fuss is about.
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Why did you decide to open this barbershop?
"I like the idea of being able to help guys look their best. It's also nice to finally have a comfortable environment to work in and it's something that I can do til a ripe old age."
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A first look inside of the shop.
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Some old-time-y art decorates the walls.
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Why did you guys settle on Temescal Alley for a location?
"Temescal is a neighborhood that is really becoming a vibrant hub for amazing restaurants and creative small businesses. In our alley alone we have two open jewelry studios, a clothing designer, a florist, a music studio, and a couple of antique stores. And there's more to come in the next year. The space used to be the stable where they kept the wagon mules that went through the Caldecott Tunnel. All that, and, of course, the proximity to Bakesale Betty's fried chicken sandwiches for lunch."
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What else? Vintage porn!
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And some less risqué reading.
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What is it about old-school barbershops that appeals to you?
"Barbershops used to be a place where a man would go to not only get groomed, but also a place for him to relax and socialize among men. Now so many men go to salons and they loose the community and the traditions of the barbershop. I wanted to give guys a place to go where they can look forward to the atmosphere and the experience. A place where you can get a haircut for under $30 and walk away looking and feeling better than when you walked in."
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What was your idea behind the decor?
"The space was a shell when we signed the lease. I built the shop out and was influenced by the traditional barbershops of the East Coast, but also wanted to give a nod to the craftsman influences of California."
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Who are the forces behind the shop?
"It's my business partner Nick Vlahos (sitting) who has been cutting hair for years in Alameda, and I (standing). We will both be cutting hair along with, eventually, a third barber."

Tell us about your denim aprons!
"They're made by Ben Davis. And you can buy 'em for $20 at any work wear store. That is, unless you want the limited edition Temescal Alley patina on them. Then we will be selling them for $150 at 470 49th Street in Oakland. Just kidding."
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The tools of the trade.
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More tools of the trade...
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A vintage haircut poster. We are all over the dude on the bottom row, second from the right!
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A decorative scissor graces the wall.
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Be sure to visit Temescal Alley Barbershop, 470 B 49th, Oakland; 510-761-5074; Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Haircuts will go for $22, warm straight-razor shaves for $22, and beard trims for $10.
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