By Michael Karlo Lim
Photos: Vanessa East & 22 Thatcher PR
I’M A creature of habit and am very well the picture of those that die hard. I am comfortable with routine and enjoy the familiarity. I like it when any service is exactly how I want it and just how it is as it always has been. Give or take a few times off, I’ve been going to the same stylist for over half my life that he probably knows me better than my own father does. To be specific, he knows my hair down to its texture, weight, and behavior including how all these play out against my features and congenital deformities. I’ve been seeing fantastic fades and pomps on many of my peers and replies to my questions about these are practically a new buzzword: 22 Thatcher. While my surrogate parent could easily execute something similar, I was all too susceptible to the fear of missing out.
The well-appointed shop is quite the man-cave it is touted to be. It’s a far cry from the image your local bathroom-tile barbershop of ancient, rusty chairs, cracked pleather seats, and questionable hygiene. Chroming and warm metals against the dark wood and finished concrete of the interiors of 22 Thatcher set a masculine tone. Uniformed staff promises a highly professional, traditional barber experience. A bar serving coffee, beer, whiskey, and cocktails commands the space opposite the service area while plush leather club chairs comfortably accommodate the accompaniment or the next-in-queue’s. Big band and jazz tunes play unobtrusively in the background to complete the genteel feels
We began with a refreshing cold face towel. I’d issue my usual “surprise me” but, this being my first time, I asked for a classic “Front-Back-And-Sides with some fading. Reymart got to buzzing with the clipper before quickly finishing with scissor work. Talk about service deluxe. I didn’t have to get up from my seat to rinse as they wheel in a portable sink to their customers. Blow drying and heavy, matte pomade did the ‘do.
I’ve been using an electric razor dry, and it was a welcome sight to see my guy whip up shaving foam with a brush for a traditional wet, razorblade shave. I wouldn’t trust anyone with a blade against my throat since Sweeney Todd but this experience was quite relaxing and I dozed off through a smooth and very close shave. Of their other grooming services available, I tried the Essential Face Routine which uses products from USA’s only all-natural men’s luxury skincare brand, Brickell.
I opted for my default drug among the choices of coffee, beer or iced tea that come complimentary with the services. Cebu’s Best Coffee, Linear Coffee Roasters, has been served since the barber shop opened in May this year. As formalized by a recent partnership, Linear’s bestselling Cold Brew and White Brew are now in steady supply along with Cebu’s first ever Home Specialty Coffee Subscription Program. Drinks after service, or even standalone orders, help create a communal atmosphere and make it a cozy place to hang out in even if one doesn’t need a trim.
Thatcher also launched their general store, the 22 Supply Co., where they will be retailing skincare products from Brickell, vintage watches and accessories from My Vintage Timepieces, and 100% locally handmade leather products from MARKED. What this barber shop already has in style and glamour, they add more value to with customer service and a fantastic client experience.
“The 22 Thatcher man walks in with reason, and walks out with purpose.” I did.