Dad is at home! The San Francisco barbershop opened a satellite in Austin on February 3, marking the first time the LGBTQIA+ venue has moved out of California, from one queer paradise to another and closer to its founder’s roots.
Few common spaces — queer or not — have reached the heights of a hair salon, a place of physical and social improvement devoid of any vices other than a really good lather. But one of the things that makes the hair salon such a safe place to be is its niche clientele — neighborhood men. Daddy’s Barbershop welcomes “Texans of all genders.”
Like many other queer staples, the first Daddy’s became popular in San Francisco. Dallas-born founder Arlen Lasater, who had previously championed LGBTQ safety as Folsom Street Fair safety director, turned to barber but maintained his protective stance, 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,” Lasater said in a press release and on the daddy’s website. “Most of the time it feels more like a community gathering place than a store.”
Terri and Timmy Lasater, Arlen’s Nibbles (that’s the gender-neutral term for your siblings’ children), have also joined the business as co-owners and operators. They’re close to family in Houston and Austin (the latter they’ve worked in for three decades) and have good food; The new barbershop towers over Cisco’s Bakery & Bar restaurant on East 6th Street, known for Tex-Mex comfort food and a retro diner atmosphere.
The building was constructed in 1914, and Daddy’s uses some historic materials to decorate the store, including reclaimed wood from two fires: the 1983 Capitol fire and the Texas French Bread fire of early 2022. Local artist and trans rights activist Xavier Schipani attended takes care of the exterior decoration with a mural, while the interior remains sleek and semi-industrial.
“I’ve always thought of Austin as a sister city to San Francisco,” Lasater said. “Both have a prominent LGBTQ+ presence and a culture of radical acceptance — it’s a culture where Daddy’s thrive.”
Daddy’s ensures this burgeoning spirit is shared through donations to the community, which have totaled at least $250,000 since its inception, to support LGBTQ+, the homeless and other local charities.
“Arlen has always helped protect people,” said Terri Lasater. “Whether 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 trimming, beard sculpting, hot towel shaving, balding/skin fades, buzz cuts, scissor cuts, gray blending, lineups, chest trims , back trims , cleanups and more.”
Daddy’s is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 1511 E 6th Street. Visit daddysbarbershop.com for more information, including links to book and apply.