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Trendy barbershop opens second LIC location


Oct. 18, 2016 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.

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He was old LIC: fleeting, bizarre, cool. Fittingly, he has been replaced with MRLIC’s clone, a trump-supporting Rockrose resident who spends hours, alone, in his two bed room, furnished with the finest IKEA has to offer, writing ‘yo mama’ jokes the majority of us last told in grade school. Lights off, blinds drawn, he sits, wearing yesterday’s clothes, the only sounds: the lonely drone of a microwave rehearsing a plate of takeout from Shi’s Cantina, and click of his fingers on the keyboard as he clears his cache to like his own comments.


Sure, $35 for a decent haircut seems fine. But I don’t get the whole “shot of bourbon” thing. The last thing I want to do is hang out in a barbershop sipping a drink, especially in the middle of a work day. It seems like a silly contrivance, just like so much else in this city these days.


$35 for a decent haircut in NYC with a shot of bourbon is enough to get me in there for a try. Many guys don’t need a $35 cut. They can go to Supercuts for a McDonalds style cookie cutter haircut. I have longish hair and most barbers can’t do it right. Stylists are much more expensive. I was paying $75 at my wife’s guy but paying that much made me sick to my stomach. I recently started going to Freeman Sporting Club in Manhattan for $35 but it takes 45 minutes to get there from LIC, there are way too many “think they are cool” people and I don’t get a free shot of bourbon.


Short hair is actually more difficult to cut then long hair. Supercuts, never been. Just a good old fashion barber in astoria, $12, and the cut is probably better then any fancy stylist. Maybe I’ll try this place just once to see, why not.


For $12 you are getting the most basic of cuts, obviously, which is fine for most men. $35 in NYC is quite good for a decent cut. Freeman’s has a 30 minute max per customer so they prefer not to cut women’s hair because it takes longer than 30 minutes. Interestingly, it is illegal to charge more or less based on gender so charging more for women is actually illegal.


I’ve been going to Otis & Finn for about a year. Great, great cuts from Kirk and Fred. Never disappointed.


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