October 18, By Hannah Wulkan
A local barbershop just opened a second location, more than doubling its capacity to meet the needs of LIC residents.
The barbershop Otis & Finn opened its new location at 11-11 44th Road last Tuesday to serve the growing demand for its services.
According to co-owner Shawn Dixon, he opened his first Otis & Finn barbershop in Court Square at 45-22 Pearson Street nearly two years ago, with the hope that it would become more than simply a place for men to get a haircut, but also a community hangout.
Dixon took on this task by offering every customer a free shot of bourbon, and creating an environment for people to relax as long as they waited.
The idea for the barbershop first occurred to Dixon and his business partner Kirk Riley when they were talking with friends who lived in Long Island City. He said they complained at the time that there were very few businesses in the area.
They saw an opening to help foster the community spirit that Dixon said he already could tell existed in the area.
“I got the sense from everyone I talked to that there was a strong sense of community, and we wanted to make a place to be a neighborhood hangout, where people could meet neighbors, chat with neighbors, and drink while getting a haircut,” Dixon said.
“We realized we could kind of make a two in one, we could provide a high quality service and also make a community outpost for people to hang out,” he added.
The original shop had three chairs, and Dixon said that it was simply outgrowing demand, so they decided to open up another space in the neighborhood.
The new location has five chairs and is 1,000 square feet, but Dixon said the mission remains the same.
“We didn’t want the second location to be too big, because it’s really about community feel,” he said. “The vibe is still the same, the services are the same, we have some of the same barbers, and same aesthetic, and we still offer every costumer a free shot of bourbon.”
The new location is still in its soft opening phase, open from 3 to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, but Dixon plans on expanding its hours to be similar to the first shop around the first week of November.
Once the hours are expanded the shop will likely be open every day from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. except Sunday, when it will be open 12 to 5 p.m.