There’s a New Kid in Town
Dunbar is now part of his growing empire of barbershops that includes two other Vancouver JD’s locations in Gastown and an exclusive members only two-chair shop at The Vancouver Club. An additional shop is in the works for Los Angeles’ L.A. Athletic Club.
Down is easy going, youthful and genuinely charming. Mere days after opening the Dunbar barbershop he was available to take time to sit in the sun on the wooden bench out front of his shop to discuss his excitement about the new location.
JD’s officially opened on May 1, 2016 in the former showroom for The Ivy on Dunbar development currently under construction in the 4200 block of Dunbar Street.
When a friend learned of the newly available and nicely renovated storefront he suggested expanding to Dunbar. With nearby high schools to draw from, in addition to numerous professionals in the area, combined with a fondness for the community where he has lived several times, Down says, “The decision was a no brainer as the neighbourhood is an ideal fit.”
He believes young men are going to be thrilled to discover a barbershop catering to their needs.
Big plate glass windows sport a JD’s logo. A red and white striped awning is a nod to the traditional barbershop pole. The shop’s interior is very clean and minimalistic. Four chairs are in place with the option to add two more. A striking five by 10 foot commissioned graffiti-style art installation by Sunshine Coast artist Ben Tour complements the space.
Originally from Niagara Falls, when Down was in his early 20s he went on an extended road trip with a group of friends. One of the women needed her hair bleached and he volunteered to give it a whirl. It turned out he had a knack for colouring and a career was born.
Down trained at Vidal Sassoon in Los Angeles. His talent evolved into a very successful career first as a hair stylist (his first shop was the popular House of Envy in downtown Vancouver) and then as a master barber when he opened his first JD’s Barbershop in Gastown in 2002 followed by an invitation to open JD’s at The Vancouver Club in 2006.
JD’s has earned a reputation for great stylists and terrific haircuts.
Although colour and hair washing services will not be available at the Dunbar shop the stylists will happily cut both men’s and women’s hair of all lengths, in addition to beard trims and shaves.
Down says, “There are no one trick pony haircuts here.” JD’s stylists will do all cuts. JD’s has an in house apprenticeship program to ensure stylists receive the proper training.
Down promises, “A relaxed environment where guys and gals can feel comfortable letting us help them look their best.”
What cut is all the rage? Boys are drawn to the fade. This cut is tapered on the sides and back and is typically done with clippers. The hair is clipped in such a way that it appears to fade into the skin.
JD’s has recently branched into its own product line which includes body wash, shave cream, after-shave, grooming cream and matte pomade. They are made by a chemist in East Vancouver. Quality ingredients are locally sourced as much as possible and feature essential oils and vitamin E.
With three businesses to oversee Down does not cut as many clients’ hair as he once did, as he is busy hopping back and forth between the three shops. In his free time he likes snowboarding, travelling (his most recent getaway was to Panama) and during the summer power boating calls his name.
When asked how people have reacted to JD’s Barbershop opening in Dunbar he replies, “People have come by telling us they love the idea of a new shop.” JD’s has already seen father and son duos popping in for haircuts.
As for reaching his clients, Down is not only a master barber, he is also a master of social media and knows how to effectively get the word out that he has opened a hip downtown-style barbershop in Dunbar Village.
4345 Dunbar Street
Vancouver BC V6S 2G2