At first glance, a high-end barbershop and a craft beer bar might be unlikely companions. But when you think about the types who tend to frequent either—folks with discerning tastes who enjoy the finer things in life—it starts to make sense. Barber and Brew in Cold Spring makes the marriage seem effortless, especially considering it was never the original plan.
When the space at 69 Main Street opened up, Barber and Brew’s master barber, Richard Corio, knew he wanted to turn it into a barbershop. It was a fitting use, since the storefront had actually been one in the 1940s and still had an original two-chair wood station with marble countertop and beveled mirror on one wall. But with double the square footage of what he needed, Corio had to figure out what to do with the rest of the space.
That’s when he reached out to James and Tara Caroll, the entrepreneurial forces behind Old Souls, an upstate go-to for clothing, gear, and home goods located next door. “We went over to check out the space and it just screamed 'bar' to me,” says James. “I could already hear and feel it.”
Today, Barber and Brew is a Cold Spring must-stop for high-quality haircuts and hops, whichever suits your fancy. Corio, who honed his craft as a barber at Brooklyn’s Ludlow Blunt and had previously worked as a high-end stylist in the city, oversees a team of three. Two barbers specialize in old-school men’s grooming—complete with hot towel and straight razor shave—while Corio and another stylist provide services for women and kids, too.
The beer list is curated by Melanie Leonard, who also owns the millinery and vintage shop Wynono & Company down the street. The bar’s 10-tap system is known for pouring local powerhitters like West Kill Brewing, Hudson Valley Brewery, Equilibrium, Woodstock Brewing, and Industrial Arts Brewing Company. Any of the beers on tap can be canned-to-order by the bar’s crowler machine, and in addition to the seasonally rotating taps, the shop also carries cans and bottles from those same names and more. “We have this incredibly thriving beer scene in New York City and the Hudson Valley and we’re lucky to be right in the middle of it,” says James.
Like many businesses in the region, Barber and Brew has had to pivot operations as the pandemic has progressed. The barbershop reopened for appointments in June and the bar has been offering online ordering for takeaway since late March. The Carolls have also been working on rolling out limited timed seatings at the bar or renting out the whole space for small private events, which may debut in the coming months as Covid rates and regulations allow.
“The space is known for having such a feeling of community,” says Tara. “Somebody might be waiting for a date on the church pew behind the chairs while someone is getting a haircut, and everyone is chatting and having a good time.” Whether you’re in the mood for a shave or a stout to-go, Barber and Brew’s charming space is definitely worth a visit. “That vibe always lives here no matter what,” Tara says.