Kris and Belinda Leck had a clear vision when they opened Jimmy Figgs Bare Knuckle Barber in Newcastle 10 months ago. Kris says ‘I learned that suicide is the biggest killer of young men. I looked into it and identified it was a loss of community that was causing so many of these young guys to take their own lives’. So Kris and Belinda looked into the concept of barbering and set about opening up Jimmy Figgs. Within 6 weeks this 1920’s-1940’s style barbershop was born and has gone from strength to strength.
The décor is a step back into to a bygone era, with vintage lounges, vintage frames decorating the walls (our fave frames contained a montage of bearded ladies) – a vintage dresser that Kris has made into a cash register – when they press sale, one of the drawers of the dresser opens to reveal the register! Way cool.
There are no tv’s, there is only conversation to engage in here, which was a deliberate move so that this shop could deliver that old fashioned, personal service. It’s about making people feel better when they walked out than they did when they arrived. One of the senior barbers, known as Scissor Slinger, said he had been teaching the apprentice, Bambi (we may need to see his birth certificate to verify that’s his real name), about the importance of personal service and had given him a mission; to remember people’s faces, names, what sort of haircut they got and if there was any special occasion they were going to or anything of note they had mentioned to remember for next time. These guys do personal extremely well. Belinda said they were very picky about who they had working in their shop; people who provided not only exceptional barbering but that something extra.
Jimmy Figgs was named after James Figg, a bare knuckle boxer who also ran a school for gentlemen. Kris and Belinda said the ‘bare knuckle’ concept was very important, taking off the gloves and getting down to something real and timeless. ‘It’s not just about the haircut, it’s about the interaction.’ There’s one customer that travels over 10 hours just to get his haircut here. Looks like Jimmy Figg’s have nailed it.
21 Wolfe St, Newcastle NSW 2300 (02) 4929 6555