The barber inside a pub - is this the oddest combination?


barber shaving a young man

While hundreds of traditional British pubs face difficult times, and hundreds more have been forced to close, one has taken an unusual approach which has seen the business flourish. The Gallaghers Pub and Barbers is a traditional pub with a very unusual side business.

So what have they done, and is this the oddest combination of businesses to come together?

The Birkenhead pub, which has featured in the Daily Mail and The Mirror, was bought by an enterprising couple in 2010. Frank and Suzanne Gallagher originally wanted to open a barbers shop, and hit on the unusual idea of having a shop within a pub.

Tucked away in what has always been a secluded corner of the pub is a fully-equipped barbers shop. It is screened off from the rest of the pub, so those having their hair trimmed are not being stared at by the regulars, but it means that while customers are waiting they can have a drink.

As well as offering lots of opportunities to use a 'half-cut' joke, it has also won several awards. Frank told the newspapers that he originally focused on the barbers shop, and thought it would be a bit of a novelty if people stopped off for a drink at the same time. However, after proving popular he has developed the pub, focused on beer quality and won a number of awards.

Weird combinations

It's not the only unusual combination of businesses. There's another UK bar that has built a second income. In Kensal Rise there's a pub imaginatively called 'the shop', where much of the furniture, and the art and photography on the walls is all for sale too. So if your bar stool is particularly comfortable you can buy it and take it home.

In Vermont the combination is even stranger, because at the Scrub-a-Dub Pub you can do your laundry and have a beer and some dinner while you wait.

Over in New York there's a tea shop in Chinatown with a shoe shop in the back, and in Chicago, Mr Flower and Mr Ping Pong goes for an unusual combination of a florist with a ping pong table in the back that's used for hosting tournaments and lessons.

Meanwhile over in Fairbanks, Alaska, Craig Smith has brought his two hobbies together in one shop. He opened a music shop, but he also wanted to indulge his passion for gold prospecting, so on a separate floor of his shop he sells mining equipment.