89 Wall Street
Seattle, WA, 98121
(206) 448- 8900 (various locations throughout Seattle.)
Rudy’s is a Seattle haircutting chain that redefines the traditional barbershop. Sure, at Rudy’s you’ll usually get a talkative stylist, and can hang out in the waiting area with a wide selection of magazines, chatting with other clientele. But does your standard barber also do tattoo services? Probably not.
All three of the Rudy’s (Capitol Hill, Fremont, & U-District) are a cool variation of the traditional barbershop, complete with the old school chairs. But the walls are coated with crazy pictures, and the shops sells cigarettes and pipes (and for awhile, you could smoke while you were getting your hair cut.) Not to mention the fact that they supposedly do a great job on tattoos, for a very excellent price.
Ruby’s is the barbershop for the new age. The typical stylist is younger, with their own very unique sense of style. I’ve had everything from the very scary looking Goth man (who gave me one of the coolest haircuts I have ever had to this day,) to this very sweet, angelic looking blonde gal who looked like she had gotten lost on her way home to Greek Row (still, another very successful haircut.) Seattle love Rudy’s because it offers more than your local Supercuts, but the prices are about the same, and it is definitely more fun. A haircut is just about $20, and you typically won’t have to worry about getting stuck with something just awful, the way you would at some of those budget places. The stylists that work at Rudy’s are usually so aware of their own personal style that they aren’t going to let you walk around looking like a jerk. However, the faint of heart should probably not give their stylist a completely free reign at Rudy’s: I had a very hair conscious friend come out of her appointment with an angled cut that was very cool, but definitely not her style. If you are of a trusting or adventurous nature, just let one of the stylists have a go at your locks – that’s what I did with Goth man, and came out with a cut that perfectly suited the shape of my hair, and was very easy to recreate at home. The stylists know what they are doing. They have all been formally trained. I think that the uninhibited atmosphere of Rudy’s must be more attractive to them than some of the sterile salons that you’ll find around town. And they must make money, despite the good prices. The place is always packed, especially on the weekends. And not just with the young crowd: people of all ages are drawn to Rudy’s great prices, their fun atmosphere, and the cool and engaging stylists.
Unfortunately, that is about the biggest downside to Ruby’s: it is not a secret spot, by any means. Expect to wait at least an hour if you haven’t gotten on their waiting list earlier, along with half of the city. But all the Rudy’s are located in cool neighborhoods where you can walk around while you’re waiting, or you can just read a magazine, or stare at all the bizarre articles and pictures on the wall. Or buy a pack of smokes from the register, and sit out front and people watch.