Since 2014, the wood-paneled storefront at 505 Haight St. has stood empty—but it recently reopened. Mike's, a full-service barbershop, started taking customers last week.
Last fall, we reported that a new owner had been found for the space—Mike Stevens, of Zip Zap Hair (around the corner on Fillmore Street). "I've been cutting hair on this corner for 18 years, so I know everyone," Stevens told us when we interviewed him last October. "So I thought might as well do it here."
The shiny new shop features eight chairs, an open floor plan and vintage flair. While the sleek modern space is a huge upgrade, its simple decor and linoleum floor are reminiscent of the old barbershops of the mid 20th century. Even the chairs, Koken Presidents, are vintage from the 1950s. Stevens sourced them from all over North America—including Tijuana and Los Angeles, and paid to have them refinished.
For now, it's just Stevens and barber Zak Segura (formerly of Chicago's on Divisadero) running the shop. Zip Zap is still going strong, and there are some finishing touches on the new space that need to be completed. Over time, more barbers will occupy more chairs, but for now the duo are keeping busy.
Prior to becoming Mike's, 505 Haight spent 45 years as Aquarius Barber Shop, a neighborhood fixture frequented by regulars, many of whom had lived in the surrounding blocks all their lives. But owner William "Mac" McElroy closed up shop for good when he was 83, marking the end of an era that included $11 haircuts.
Mike's isn't the only barbershop to open up in Lower Haight this year: Debonair took over D-Structure's old space in April, directly across the street from Mike's. But the presence of another shop nearby doesn't worry Stevens. "Lower Haight has always had tons of salons," he pointed out.
On the day we visited, when the shop wasn't even officially open, he had four clients come in for cuts and four drop-ins.
Mike's is open 10am to 7pm Tuesday through Saturday.