Who's your daddy?
Daddy’s home! The barbershop from San Francisco opened a satellite out in Austin on February 3, marking the first time the LGBTQIA+ gathering place has moved out of California, from one queer haven to another, and closer to its founder's roots.
Few community spaces — queer or otherwise — have reached the heights of a barbershop, a site of physical and social betterment without any vices beyond a really good lather. But one of the things that makes the barbershop such a safe space is its niche clientele — men in the neighborhood. At Daddy’s Barbershop, doors are open to “Texans of all genders.”
Like many other queer staples, the first Daddy’s became popular in San Francisco. Dallas-born founder Arlen Lasater, who was already deeply entrenched in advocating for LGBTQ safety as a security director for the Folsom Street Fair, turned to barbering but kept his protective attitude, and people flocked to the diverse space. Now the barbershop is located in Palm Springs and Austin.
“I think it became a haven for LGBTQ+ locals,” said Lasater in a press release and on the Daddy’s website. “Most of the time, it feels more like a community hangout than a business.”
Terri and Timmy Lasater, Arlen’s niblings (that’s the gender-neutral term for your sibling’s kids), have also joined the business as co-owners and operators. They’re close to family in Houston and Austin (having worked in the latter for three decades) as well as good eats; The new barbershop tops Cisco's Restaurant Bakery & Bar on East 6th Street, known for Tex-Mex comfort foods and a retro diner atmosphere.
The building was constructed in 1914, and Daddy’s is using some historical materials to enhance the shop, including reclaimed wood from two fires: the Capitol fire of 1983, and the Texas French Bread fire in early 2022. Local artist and trans rights activist Xavier Schipani took care of exterior decor with a mural, while the interior remains sleek and semi-industrial.
“I’ve always considered Austin a sister city to San Francisco,” said Lasater. “Both have a prominent LGBTQ+ presence and a culture of radical acceptance — that’s a culture Daddy’s thrives in.”
Daddy’s is making sure to share that thriving spirit through community donations that have totaled at least $250,000 since its founding, for supporting LGBTQ+, homeless, and more local nonprofits.
“Arlen’s always been a part of keeping people safe,” said Terri Lasater. “Whether it’s through his work or donations, it's important that he does what he can to protect his community.”
Guests can expect the following services: “high-and-tight haircuts, beard/goatee trims, beard sculpting, hot towel shaves, bald/skin fades, buzzcuts, scissor cuts, gray-blending, line-ups, chest trims, back trims, clean-ups, and more.”
Daddy’s is open at 1511 E 6th Street, Monday through Saturday, from 10 am to 6 pm. More information, including links for booking and job applications, is available at daddysbarbershop.com.