September 27, 2016

Ray’s Barbershop: Classics Never Get Old

Ray's Barbershop Salt Lake City, Utah

Words to describe the service Ray Francom and his professional staff offer men at their new downtown SLC location just blocks from City Creek. Pampering sounds too girly, but the personal touch men receive is more than just a generic haircut. Ray’s Barber Shop is a comfortable place for men to come and relax while getting an indulgent shave, cut or shoe shine. Ray expertly combs and clips with the deft skills of a practiced craftsman. Casual barber-client banter can be heard between the sounds of electric clippers and the vibrating hum of the professional oscillating massager used to provide the grand finale pampering touch. Ray is keen on providing a niche for the urban man. The spacious shop at 154 S. Main has 12 chairs, and hopefully soon that many barbers to serve a growing business. “I’m really glad he opened up downtown,” a first-time customer says. “I can come here after work, and don’t have to waste time on a Saturday getting a haircut,” an encouraging remark for a business that relies on regulars. “We want returning customers,” Ray says, which is the primary reason he opened on Main, to cater to the 8-5 crowd. The new City Creek development may be the topic of conversation between barber and client and Ray is curious to see how the mall’s presence will affect his business traffic. There’s a lot of national press touting

the property as a Mormon mall, an isolated commercial contrivance serving a discrete clientele, but Ray thinks the mall and the greater downtown area will blend “because the stores, like Foot Locker, aren’t typical Mormon stores. I see tourism generating mall clientele, but they’re not stores that only Mormons go to.” “Being next to City Creek,” Ray notes, “is a bonus because I know it will bring people downtown,” though in the opening days of the mall he didn’t see the overfl ow local businesses expected. There is a residential component to the development, however, that Ray anticipates boosting his client base. “The mall could hurt some of the small business retailers, but it won’t negatively affect what we do.” After a trend shift in the salon industry that almost made barbershops obsolete, the classic and utilitarian style of this historic male retreat has made a comeback as men realize they appreciate the gender-specific service and atmosphere. “Men,” Ray confirms, “are liking having their own spot.”

Address: 154 S. Main  Business Hours: M-Sat 8 am-9 pm. Visit Ray on Facebook. Or visit Ray’s Website