Dante Perrone first opened the doors of his barber shop, Axe & Hatchet, two years ago. And within weeks, he established his upscale grooming club as a place where professional athletes could comfortably escape their daily routine. He refers to the barber chair as a makeshift confessional - like Vegas, what happens in the barber shop stays in the barber shop. It's one of the many reasons athletes and coaches keep coming back to him.
His first high profile client was Troy Tulowitzki. Then came Mike Babcock, Steve Stamkos and Sebastian Giovinco of Toronto FC. He gets his share of walk-ins as well: while staying in Yorkville while playing against the Blue Jays, Jacoby Ellsbury of the New York Yankees stopped in for a pre-game touch up after being referred by the concierge at a nearby hotel. Other notable clients include former catcher and current broadcaster, Gregg Zaun, and Mats Sundin who walked in for a straight-razor shave during the World Juniors and stayed to watch a hockey game which was playing on the TVs in the shop.
The pro athlete that started it all, Blue Jay Troy Tulowitzki (instagram.com/axeandhatchet)
Of all his clients, Dante says Giovinco is the most particular. He says it has something to do with the fact that soccer players don't wear hats or helmets so they're a bit more concerned with their image compared to other major sports stars. It's not uncommon for the TFC striker to visit the shop on a weekly basis for his standard pre-game cut. And, if he's going on a road trip, Dante is almost certain to get a visit from Giovinco before he hits the road.
TFC star forward Sebastian Giovinco, second from right, poses with staff at Axe & Hatchet (instagram.com/axeandhatchet)
But in Dante's opinion, it's Mike Babcock who has the best salad in the game. With a look that's neither too fresh nor too overgrown, it's a style the Leafs coach has been rocking for years.
Leafs coach, Mike Babcock rocking the sweet flow (instagram.com/axeandhatchet)
If you're interested in getting your hair cut in the same chair as some of sports biggest names, you can book an appointment at either of Axe & Hatchet's two Toronto locations.