With so many baristas donning perfectly sculpted quiffs and flawlessly crafted moustaches, the coming together of the barbershop and the espresso bar would seem to be long overdue, particularly given the decadent appeal of drinking rich espresso in the middle of a bouffant trimming. Thankfully, Cleveland’s provides us with that potent combination of haircuts and coffee our lives have been missing.
It’s a curious concept to process at first, fraught with images of hair in macchiatos and styling gel on toast. And while the two sides of the business occupy the same small, rectangular space, a glass partition acts as an invisible border, thwarting the migration of hair and shampoo from one end to the other. There are some clever design elements contributing to both the connection and distinction of these two strains as well. The exposed brick of the espresso bar transitions into polished white tiles in the salon, while the light playing off the partition mixes reflections of the cafe into a dual image of both spaces.
Harry Levy is the seasoned and much publicised barista fronting the cafe end of this operation. Working with coffee from one of his previous employers at Little Marionette, it’s safe to say Levy is producing a polished rendition of this well respected coffee, not to mention some spectacular filter brews. Handmade mueslis with poached pear and rhubarb compote are on offer, as well as a modest selection of pastries and toast from Luxe Bakery. For lunch, they’ve partnered with Hungry Mondays to provide a choice of slow cooked dishes, such as 10-hour sweet potato and silver beet curry.
Meanwhile, on the salon side of the glass, Patrick Casey has been dominating the hair game for 10 years, including a four-year stint at Pimps & Pinups in London. Now offering his illustrious skill set with complimentary coffee and/or Irish whisky, it’s hard to imagine a more appealing haircut scenario. It’s worth mentioning that despite its barbershop veneer, Cleveland’s is also a women’s hair salon.
Cafe opening hours listed, check website for opening hours of the barber