Shop returns to its roots

By Chris Thomson | posted on May 24, 2018

A BESPOKE business revival at the intersection of Albany’s two high streets is now complete, with a boutique barber shop opening where the Eclectic Ladyland dress shop recently closed.

The establishment of Monk & Hound Barber Shop on the north-eastern corner of York Street and Stirling Terrace comes not long after Mark Blyth Fine Jewellery started trading from the imposing but long-empty Albany House on the north-western corner (‘City jewel gets new tenant’, 12 January).

Last week, Monk & Hound owner Jason Abbott revealed he would start trading on May 22.

“I was a barber in Perth, in the city, for a long time,” he told The Weekender.

“Then I was in construction for a long time and I went back to barbering last year or the year before.”

Mr Abbott has family in Albany, likes the place and decided to move on down.

“I saw this shop come up for lease, and thought it would be a good spot for a barber shop,” he said.

“We’ll get the men’s hair and grooming off the ground first.”

He said beer tastings and coffee could, down the track, be on the cards for customers.

The shop will have two barbers’ chairs and newly installed exposed copper piping.

A layer of striped paint, perceptible on either side of the shop’s front door beneath a more recent coat of white, is a hint the shop is returning to its roots.

“I had no idea until we started talking to the building owner about it,” Mr Abbott said.

“I think it’s a great thing to have it go back to being a barber shop.”

With barbers coming back into vogue in recent years, Mr Abbott would not be drawn, specifically, on whether his trade had benefitted from a hipster-led recovery.

“I think it’s the beards,” he smiled.

He thought his old-school operation had potential to encourage the extension of the Stirling Terrace hospitality strip both west from the White Star, Six Degrees and Kate’s Place end of the Terrace and east from the Liberté end.

“Yeah, you need a bar and a coffee shop down this way,” he said.

“A whiskey bar or something, or a craft beer tap room.”

The shop, in the 1912-built Empire Buildings, retains its original pressed tin ceiling.

Mr Abbott has added historic light fittings and arty timber shelving.