Call it good fortune or cosmically destined, but the conception of Rudy’s Barbershop, which opened on September 17th at the up and coming Coogee Pavilion, feels fated. KMS International Artistic Director Clive Allwright, who co-owns the barbershop with his business partner Kelly Grant, started out in barbershops, cutting hair on the weekends before moving to London to work at TONI&GUY in its initial phases. Now, he’s paired this love of the industry with a booming market that sees more and more men following the barber trend.
“I look like a plumber, I don’t look like a hairdresser,” Clive joked. “I’ve always loved that barbershop environment where you talk about football. That’s always been a big a part of my life, it was only working in a barbershop initially that sparked the interest to go up and do hairdressing in a whole different world, so it’s a bit of a special project for me.”
Already the Co-Owner of Our Place salon in Potts Points, as well as regularly travelling the globe for shows, seminars and photo shoots on behalf of KMS, Clive still found time to get in on the ground floor of the exciting new Coogee Pavilion, literally. “One of my clients is Justin Hemmes,” Clive said of his appointment with the entrepreneur and Merivale CEO that saw the idea dreamed up. “I was cutting his hair and he was telling me about the new Coogee Pavilion that he was opening up and how downstairs was going to be very eclectic and very different to anything else in Sydney. I said to him ‘you should put a barbershop in there’ and that’s how the idea came about.”
Coogee Pavilion is currently a busy hub of restaurants, a nostalgic games area and a cool environment to hang out for the day. Patrons can choose between burgers, seafood, pizza and now, a quick cut and shave. Rudy’s will also offer women’s blow dries and KMS retail products, the perfect solution to long days at the beach. Having only opened less than two months ago, the centre is still under renovation. By the end of the year it will also include a European beach club on the roof, and a ballroom that will host weddings overlooking the seaside. The salon will open with the centre, bright and early at 7am, and close at 8pm.
Aesthetically, the barber shop employs classic features, such as an old-world price list and two authentic 1920s barber chairs that have been sourced from New York, upholstered and shipped to Sydney. “The aesthetic is like an installation, like a pod,” Clive explained of the unique layout, where the barbershop is in a sectioned off area of the centre’s ground floor.
Two barbers and a maître d’ will run the show, taking the names of customers who can then go enjoy a beer or a burger while they wait for a spot. The barber shop has no phone number and will only accept walk-ins, leaving its clients to revel in the dynamic Coogee environment between appointments. “Coogee pavilion is all about spending the day there, having a beer with your mates and then going to get a haircut,” Clive shared.
With a niche price point, genuine old-world aesthetic and a host of initiatives to come, Rudy’s Barbershop is capitalising on not only the booming barber trend but also the growing epicentre that is Coogee Pavilion. Beach side and surrounded by versatile establishments, Rudy’s Barbershop will make the dry cut and shave an integral part of the summer agenda.