Inside Look: Bottle and Barlow, Sacramento - Imbibe Magazine Subscribe + Save

Inside Look: Bottle and Barlow, Sacramento

Last July in Sacramento’s booming R Street district, bartending and barbery converged under the helm of barman Jayson Wilde and barber Anthony Giannotti to form Bottle and Barlow. In his more than 10 years as a barber (six of which he spent running his own place, Anthony’s Barbershop), Giannotti couldn’t help but notice the close proximity of bars to barbershops where the clientele would grab a drink while waiting. Wilde had been the general manager at San Francisco’s Bourbon & Branch for three-and-a-half years and was ready for a new challenge, so when Giannotti approached him about opening a bar/barbershop, he jumped at the idea.

“We both wanted to elevate the guest experience. Rather than just giving somebody a canned beer, we wanted to give them a full-on bar experience while they are in their chair,” says Wilde. “The biggest challenge is having people understand that you don’t have to get a haircut to grab a drink from us.”

In gleaming art deco, Bottle and Barlow marries a full-service cocktail bar on one side with a full-service barbershop on the other—the Barlow half of the name coming from the iconic model of barber chair. A viewing lounge with a couple of two-way mirrors allows drinkers to watch the goings-on in the shop. “When people walk out of the shop, they look their best and it brings such a positive vibe to the bar,” says Wilde.

While waiting for a haircut or a “Corpse Reviver” straight razor shave, guests can order from a cocktail menu that gets playful with flavors and tongue-in-cheek names. The Passion of the Cross combines bourbon with cinnamon rum, lemon juice, passion fruit and velvet falernum, while the Jackson 5 Spice starts with black tea gin and includes fig five-spice syrup, lemon juice, coconut, marmalade and hazelnut. But Wilde says their most popular drink is the (slightly) pared down Kiss & Tell with a base of gin or vodka plus cucumber, Aperol, lemon juice, pineapple syrup, salt and soda water.

In keeping with their motto to “get loose, stay sharp,” Bottle and Barlow continues to see more crossover, with barbershop customers staying for a few extra drinks, or bar patrons booking an appointment for services. Although, artful haircuts and pampering shaves aside, Giannotti concedes that the bar remains the primary draw. “Definitely more people come in for the bar. You only need one haircut a month, but you can drink everyday.”

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