Credit: Doyle Murphy, via Riverfront Times

Credit: Doyle Murphy, via Riverfront Times

Eph entrepreneur Frank Uible (III) ’85 is already renowned for the award-winning, cornmeal-crust deep-dish pizza served at his St. Louis-based restaurant chain, Pi Pizzeria. Besides delicious pizza, Uible’s Pi locations are known for a refreshing selection of beers, and Uible has expanded his empire into another venue where Ephs might enjoy a cold one:

Frank Uible, the co-founder of Pi Pizzeria, has partnered with the owner of a tattoo shop and, yes, a barber to open a new spot on the edge of Soulard. The trio is selling the idea of a throwback barbershop as lounge and neighborhood hangout. Union Barbershop (1264 Gravois Avenue, 314-328-2411) has Playboy magazines on the coffee table, a pool table around the corner and cold beer in the refrigerator.

“Barbershops rivaled saloons for men’s interest and attention,” Uible says. “It was a social club.”

A beer and a haircut, two bits? Sounds pretty good. Especially if I can get a deep-dish pizza to go. Although I’m not sure anyone plans to still be reading Playboy…

As Uible explains, Union Barbershop is a spinoff of tanother millennial-oriented business, Knife & Flag:

The two-year-old company now sells heavy-duty work wear to a growing number of tattoo artists, craftsmen, welders and restaurant workers across the world. Locally, the servers at Old Standard can be seen sporting a Carhartt-looking version as they sling fried chicken in Botanical Heights.

Knife & Flag has also begun to expand, selling leather goods (the Yannigan bag is said to be inspired by a lumberjack’s rucksack) and a line of hair-care products. The barbershop is a natural spinoff, given the hair-care venture and the aprons’ popularity with pros wielding shears from here to Japan, Uible says…

[T]he companies are betting on millennials’ movement away from a culture of mass-produced goods and 20-minute haircuts.

“Handcrafted is what binds us all together,” Uible says — a philosophy that goes all the way back to his work at Pi.

If you’re in St. Louis, Union Barbershop is already open, and you can visit 9-7 on weekdays, or 8-5 on Saturdays.

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