The evocatively named Cut Throat Barber & Coffee turns plenty of passing heads even on a street full of other ‘memorable’ retailers. It’s situated on Warmoesstraat, in Amsterdam’s molten core. Just off Dam Square at the edge of the Red Light District it’s been rapidly growing in popularity since it opened a couple of years ago. It’s barbershop equivalent of a juggernaut.
Team Kompas has sampled several other barbershops of this ilk. Each has a different but ideal location and each offers a modern take on traditional men’s grooming, so why can’t we keep away from Cut Throat?
Firstly, we think atmosphere is one of Cut Throat’s most unique assets. Thanks to a happy crowd of friendly barbers and baristas, everyone experiences Cut Throat’s charm whether they’re in the chair or sat waiting with their cappuccino, and we like that.
Then there’s the coffee itself, which is genuinely good. Much of Amsterdam’s cafes and clothes shops are energetically riding the caffeinated wave by offering well-made joe from esteemed coffee roasteries, and Cut Throat Barber & Coffee is – as the name suggests – doing that too. So the cup you’ll be handed by the receptionista (that’s an amalgam of receptionist/barista we hope we just invented) is a very pleasant reward for your time and custom.
Now, we aren’t really creatures of ritual here at Kompas, but we do gladly make one out of a trip to Cut Throat. It’s fun to relax with a coffee or two, flick through a new magazine and catch up on your social media. The free wifi certainly helps with that. Meanwhile we’ll also be Shazam-ing the crap out of the shop’s usually excellent playlist and tuning into the lively banter.
Admittedly, the ‘ritual’ we speak of is a euphemistic way to say that you’ll have to wait for a while to get to the barber chair (standard), but we’re reliably informed that could be changing. Saving time is a good thing of course, but we’re romantics at heart and we’ll miss our ‘time out from the world’. Luckily the service won’t change one bit and it’s really in the chair itself where the magic happens.
All this talk of coffee and ambiance would make it easy to forget what we’re here for. But of course a barbershop is about your beard and barnet getting a right good seeing to. Without that, good coffee and friendly conversation aren’t worth a lot. So what of the haircut?
By now you probably know that Kompas is not about style without substance so you’ve worked out already that Cutthroat comes good on this front too. They identify with traditional barbershoppery, but a flick through their Instagram account will show they take pride in stepping into more contemporary territory. And crucially, you’re listened to at Cut Throat. First they listen, and then they lay their knowhow on you with a consistency and an attention to detail that can be hard to find elsewhere.
The shop’s unstoppable success is no accident. Thanks to lots of hard work by the savvy and self-titled ‘Cut Throat Mob’, it’s likely to be sending sharp haircuts and chiseled beards back into the street for a long time to come. And that’s why we can’t keep away from Cut Throat Barber & Coffee.