When it comes to looking sharp, nowhere does it better than The Butcher’s Chop Shop.
This smart modern barbershop is the Royal Exchange Arcade’s go-to destination for the modern Mancunian who wants to look his best.
And it’s all thanks to owners Steve Ward and Matt Bambroffe and their cutting edge team of hairstyle experts.
At heart it’s a traditional barber shop – but one with very exacting standards.
Just as a fillet steak tastes vastly different to a cheap offcut, The Butcher’s Chop Shop is all about delivering a prime (rib) experience to chaps who want to look their very best.
I popped in recently for a trim and, as something of a coiffure connoisseur, was seriously impressed.
Here, it’s all about the details and high standards.
The friendly team provide the most precise haircuts and beard trims available in the city, but unlike the more testosterone-fuelled places out there, the atmosphere is wonderfully relaxed and laid-back.
The aim is refreshingly simple: to give you the haircut you want, and that suits you the best.
The staff might be at the very top of their game, but that doesn’t mean a steep price tag. The cost of a cut here – given in lbs, naturally – compares remarkably well to some of the city’s other high-profile barber shops.
Plus it’s slap bang in the very centre of the city, just off St Ann’s Square, so it’s ideal if you’re looking to get spruced up on your lunch break – especially as they aim to get each haircut perfected in under 45 minutes.
It’s no surprise to hear that Steve’s background is as a graphic designer.
This butchers-themed venue is all pristine white tiling and huge mirrors, topped off with a huge LED pig design, while each station has a bespoke ‘chopping block’ for those all-important hairstyle tools.
Most impressively of all, the lighting has been carefully placed to remove all shadows while cutting, meaning there won’t be a hair out of place by the end.
It’s a far cry from your mum putting a bowl on your head and chopping round it with a pair of blunt scissors. And let’s face it, that’s pretty much what most of us did over lockdown.
But now the city has opened back up, it’s high time every self-respecting local chap treats himself to a top-class haircut and beard trim in time for the summer months.
The Butcher’s Chop Shop might stand head and shoulders above the rest, but it isn’t resting on its laurels.
There are plans to turn the front-facing section of the venue into a butchers-style shop, selling all manner of clothing and accessories to match your new do.
This will include ethical grooming products made in collaboration with long-standing Manchester business, Totem Wolf. The smoked beard butter used during my visit is something truly special, easily one of the best smelling beard products out there.
The Butcher’s Chop Shop is the ultimate Manchester success story.
As the city expands, it’s encouraging to see innovative, independent businesses like this thrive.
The team here put their all into everything, whether it’s a simple clipper cut or a full haircut and shave.
Rest assured, they don’t cut corners – except on your hairline.