Beauty Shop (966 South Cooper)

Dining at this retro, eclectic restaurant in the heart of the Cooper-Young district in Memphis takes you back to the insides of a 1940’s barbershop. As the name suggests, the decor alone is worth a visit. The front dining room, which houses a few small tables and a bar showcases hand blown glass chandelier’s and lime green sinks from the days of this 1st unisex barbershop in Memphis where the men had their hair snipped in the front of the shop and ladies were expected to have their services in the all pink painted back.

Tables are wedged where the old dressing stations used to be – still in tact with the original ice cube-like glass separators, original shelving and accent lights. The sheik, white decor and leather booths adds a sense of 70’s sheik.

The food is a great mix of traditional American and international cuisine with an interesting twist. Many dishes offer a sweet alternative to the typical meal; for example, try the chicken wings and watermelon smothered in a sweet thai sauce or the highly recommended grilled peaches topped with blue cheese. One of the many highlights is the famous BS Grilled Romaine – smokey romaine doused in a semi-spicy dressing with bacon, tomatoes and blue cheese. All dishes are served on vintage plates.

For entrees, the seared snapper was very flavorful although overcooked with a crisp exterior – as is everything in Memphis. The salmon with a side of arugula salad was tasty yet a bit salty in addition to the fishy mussels.

The highlight – dessert. Known for their cakes, the strawberry and caramel are melt in your mouth, moist cakes topped with a thick frosting. I also recommend the crepes (banana and nutella as a favor to our pal Elvis) was extraordinary.

For a post dinner drink – stop by the Mollie Fontaine Lounge (679 Adams Ave) which is owned by the same management as Barbershop and used to be the owner’s personal residence. Set in an old Victorian house, experience what true Memphis has to offer as Mollie’s is a place for the locals. Stepping inside this massive Victorian, the aroma of musky smoke fills the air. With live music Thurs – Sat, grab a glass of wine from their extensive list of cocktails as you relax to the piano and blues.

The first floor is strictly non-smoking, with two rooms of unique decor, enlarged black and white photos from the 60’s, cow-skin carpets and antiques nestled in tiny corners. Upon climbing the old wooden staircase to the second floor, the vibe is a bit more lively, the air a bit more smoky, and the various couches, nooks and funky atmosphere enough for anyone to melt into the true heart of Memphis.


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