Michelle Gigi enjoys being the only female barber at The Holy Black Barbershop in Lindenhurst.  Credit: Howard Schnapp

Folks are buzzing about The Holy Black, a new barbershop now open in Lindenhurst. Owned by brothers Matthew, 35, and Stefan, 41, Gaudio, they have transformed a brick corner building in what was, in its original iteration, a funeral parlor, then an insurance company, into what Matthew calls, “a real all- American traditional barbershop — not your average barbershop but period correct from the early 1900s.”

The brothers have “curated” the environment and the staff to offer, says Matthew, “a certain aesthetic and a way that has kind of been lost and is a whole lot more like a men’s old school social club.”

Self-admitted “townies,” Matthew says, “Everybody knows us. We were born and raised in Lindenhurst and come from a barbering family — my grandfather and both of his brothers were barbers and we grew up with people getting haircuts in the kitchen.”

The duo inherited their grandfather’s straight razors, potions and aftershaves and in 2015, created The Holy Black, a successful line of men’s grooming products based, in part, on some of their grandfather’s formulas.

When they learned a friend’s father was vacating the space, the Guadios went for it, embarking on a full-scale overhaul that was part renovation/part restoration. They salvaged the original tin ceiling discovered beneath the more generic office tiles, and cleaned up the white oak floors. Collectors, they’ve added everything from taxidermy, antique boxing gloves, wooden casks, apothecary jars, old American flags and even recovered antique barber chairs from 1910. Matthew marvels at their durability. “It’s amazing that something that old can stand up to the abuse of cutting hair every day.”

The vintage theme extends to a couple of retail clothing sections up front in the shop that include outposts of George’s Vintage clothing where throwback men’s duds are for sale and items from Rosie’s Vintage, including leather wallets, knives, pennants and old Playboy magazines.

But beyond the décor, says Matthew, “The vibe is the single most important thing in this business. It’s easy to put a bunch of things on a wall but I want the feeling here to be a place for men to sit down and socialize and feel a genuine relationship with each other.”

The brothers have hand-picked a talented staff with barbers from as far away as Kentucky and encourage camaraderie via a built-in bar and plenty of happenings including visiting tattoo artists, music and drink nights and “motorcycling and hot-rodding events to promote the shop.”

As for the name, Matthew explains that it comes from a type of messy black ammunition used in the Wild West before a cleaner gunpowder was introduced. Some preferred the original variety despite the advances. “I love the name,” says Matthew. “It really is a slang term for doing things in an old school way.” 

The Holy Black is located at 169 N. Wellwood Ave., 631-450-4815, appointments can be booked online at shops.getsquire.com.