Barber shops once dotted the land, providing men a place to gather, get a hair cut, shave, and shoeshine. Over the past half-century, long hair and unisex salons have each taken a bite out of the business, and though the stock of next-generation barbers is as thin as the outgoing generation's hairlines, there are still great shops to be found. Al's is a no-frills establishment with a lineage that dates back to the 19th century. The eponymous Al has owned the shop since the 1950s, and his younger protégé Nick carries on the work of his own great-grandfather. Both barbers provide classic crews, tapers, fades, and brush cuts, and Nick also works more contemporary styles. They're quick, affable, and the warm cream/straight razor finish leaves the back of your neck really neat. Closed Sunday and Monday and no appointments, but the parking is easy, the conversation is friendly, and the shop's a pleasant place to wait your turn.
© 2016 East Bay Express