LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Speakeasy Barbershop at the El Cortez hotel-casino is not just your average barbershop. The moment you step foot through the door it takes you back in time to the early 1970s.
Andres Dominguez’s grandfather, Julian Madrid, opened this barbershop back in 1974 inside of the hotel. At a very young age around the late 1990s, Dominguez would come in to watch his grandpa cut hair for hours. He was fascinated by the two-chair shop’s style and how it became a Vegas hidden treasure.
“That was a taste of true old school Las Vegas, so you are speaking on their 80th anniversary, they really hold those customs and traditions true today,” Dominguez said.
After some time, Dominguez trained to be a barber himself. He got his license and tried to find a spot to follow his grandpa’s footsteps, who had already retired and sold the shop to someone else. He always dreamed of having a shop like his grandpa, but little did he know his dream would become a reality.
“My uncle Paul calls me and says, ‘Andres guess what? Grandpa’s shop is up for grabs,” explained Dominguez.
Once he found out, Dominguez rushed to the barbershop to try to get more information. What started off as getting the number off the door, ended up as an opportunity of a lifetime. Dominguez met the executive team that same day. He told them he was Julian Madrid’s grandchild and the emotional connection he had to the shop and they didn’t think too hard before giving him the answer that started it all.
“He said listen, young man, we are going to give you an opportunity, this is what we kind of would like to see it’s up to you to make it or not,” Dominguez said.
In January of 2019, Dominguez took over what was his grandfather’s creation. He kept the traditional practices his grandpa used like the hot towels, straight razor shaves, facials, and even the services his grandpa would offer. He carries a legacy that he hopes to pass down to many more generations to come.
“This isn’t the end, my grandfather’s name helped us get to where we are today and the foundation of that but what greater honor than us to keep building and growing on top of what already is,” Dominguez said.
Speakeasy Barbershop is located at the end of the second-floor hallway inside the El Cortez. They are open Tuesday thru Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday and Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.