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The Ultimate Den

Bringing Old School Barbering Back with The Dapper Den Barbershop

If you haven't walked into The Dapper Den Barbershop yet, we highly recommend you do. Owner Jared Gelbert opened the shop's doors in late 2016 with a vision of bringing a traditional gentlemen's style barbershop with a small town feel to Ridgefield.

Full of an eclectic mix of wall-hangings from license plates and vintage photographs to sports trophies and giant records — think your parent's basement or garage growing up — the shop is both comforting and sophisticated, with a ton of personality.

Not to be overlooked also is the Dapper Den attire. Stylish to a tee, Jared runs a tight ship on the dress code the barbers need to adhere to — although he himself breaks it every now and again, the guys playfully chime in. From wingtip shoes and vests to ties and of course, a groomed mustache, rest assured you're being taken care of by one well-kempt crew.

Prior to opening Dapper Den, Jared ran a barbershop in Rockland County, New York for 13 years. Ridgefield, he says, reminded him of that small town New Jersey feel where he's originally from. 

With clients ranging from David Letterman and the founder of the Snuggie to the CEO of Pepsi to WWE wrestlers, the guys at the shop emphasize how cool it is to "see that everybody is human."

Something that differentiates the shop from others is that the barbers (also acclaimed beard specialists, they inform me) are all well-rounded in every hair texture, from straight hair to curly hair and beyond, using high-end sheers and tools to ensure their clients leave looking as sharp as possible.

"The thing I love the most about barbering is that it gets the aggression out," Jared states. "The work takes the stress out instead of making the stress. You're helping other people through their problems and making them feel like a million bucks without charging a million bucks."

Like the Dapper Den guys like to say, it's an experience at Dapper Den, not just a haircut. The writing is certainly on the wall there. Jared speaks a bit on how giving back to his employees and the community at large is a huge part of why he loves what he does, offering new barbers apprenticeships and taking time to train and educate new and existing employees.

In addition to their experiential shop, Dapper Den hosts a series of fun YouTube and Instagram Live series including "Shop Talk," where business owners in town sit in the chair and discuss what's going on with their companies, allowing for an exchange of knowledge — and of course, their infamous banter. "At the end of the day, you have to help the businesses that are helping you," Jared comments. "They become customers, and then they become friends. It's the American dream owning this place and waking up every day looking forward to going to work," he describes.

Another offering they do is "Speakeasy Saturdays" where Jared will hop on Instagram Live and talk about an of-the-moment bourbon, whiskey, or tobacco he's into lately, immersing his customers further into the old school world the barbershop carries out so well.

Looking to the future, he’d like to franchise the shop in surrounding towns and beyond, continuing his give back mission and living up to the old school barber standard.

"It's so cool to help out the clients with whatever is going on in their lives," he notes. "If someone's saying their refrigerator broke, we can say, 'we got a guy,' they all laugh. Like we keep saying, it’s not just a haircut, it’s an experience.