Forget everything you know about the barbershop experience—Church Barbershop & Apothecary is redefining haircut etiquette with next-level sophistication.
"We felt there was a huge opportunity to offer traditional barber services with an updated holistic approach towards care," says Beatrice Gonzalez, whose joint venture with her husband, Ryan, opens this weekend in a tony address on Octavia Street, next door to Seldom Seen. "Our ongoing goal is to provide a space that welcomes all people while offering something truly unique: 100 percent botanical products made entirely in-house, beautiful and thoughtful design, and top-notch service."
Like the male version of Population Salon, a trendy parlor that promotes healthy living that's frequented by fashionistas and influencers, Church Barbershop & Apothecary feels more like someone's living room—thanks to raw interior finishes, natural lighting and ever-changing "wildcrafted" floral arrangements—than a place to get a sweet fade (though you totally can). Even the stereotypical black-and-white checkered floor has been reimagined with a Pendleton-esque geometric design, hand painted by SoMa-based New Bohemia Signs. The overall effect is quiet, but the shop drips with subtle splendor—design-savvy eyes will instantly spot custom carpentry, travertine countertops, the Venetian leather banquette designed by local artisans, Belmont barber chairs imported from Japan...the list goes on.
Wits its meticulous decor and very conscious curation of products, the barber shop has been nurtured as one might a first child, and that is just what the venture is, the first for Ryan and Beatrice who are melding their backgrounds in business and marketing (him) and all-natural products (her) and tapping the help of their close friends who own and operate barber shops in SF and New York.
Beatrice spent the past two years working with formulators to the launch Church Apothecary's own product line of shampoos and conditioners created with wildflowers and spirulina, shave gel, volcanic clay pomade, and rose water. The Church Ritual line of skincare, called skin food, is formulated to actively heal and protect skin without the use of chemicals, toxins and fragrances, and is integrated into each service they offer. Try the signature Sunday Service ($75), a 60-minute haircut and transformative facial, or a simple Church Haircut ($50) capped off with a hot or cold compress soaked in steam-distilled neroli or rose oils.
// Church Barber + Apothecary opens Saturday, Oct.7; 524 Octavia St. (Hayes Valley); services can be booked online at churchbarber.com.