Wheelies and Victory Barbers Team Up to Create Saint Franks

Before the opening of Saint Franks, social media let out a collective groan when the new bar was rumoured to be a gourmet hot dog/bourbon joint where you can play vintage pinball machines while you wait for a straight razor shave or a haircut. “The description reads like an Onion article or a parody of hipster urbanism,” wrote one commenter on Vibrant Victoria. Well, if you think the meta hipster insanity of the place was lost on Victory Barber and Brand’s Matty Conrad and Wheelies Motorcycles’ Jay Pincombe, you would be very wrong. These days anything that is “interesting, cool or socially misunderstood” is going to fall into the ‘hipster’ category. It was always intended to be over the top, catering to the crowds of people who come in to Victory for a fashionably relevant hair cut or a trim on their chest length beard or who frequent Wheelies for a sandwich and a tune up on their vintage 1968 Triumph Bonneville T120R.

Conrad and Pincombe are a couple of Victoria old boys who stomped these grounds and paid their dues to the city. After over a decade of friendship and immense success with their individual enterprises they knew it was time for a joint venture. “We wanted to build a Victory Barber and Wheelies baby and this is exactly what it is”, says Pincombe. Growing up in Victoria but afforded the opportunity to travel all over North America, the boys wanted to bring their experiences home, creating a space that could be found in the Lower East Side in Manhattan but nestled into one of the many derelict and forgotten areas of downtown Victoria. The hot dogs and down and dirty sides such as Frito pie, franks and beans, and crackling, are inspired by travels that span from the American deep south to Brooklyn NY. Vintage pinball machines? Well, what 80’s kid doesn’t want to take a crack at one of these? As for the haircuts – all of you sceptics and insta-haters can relax. It is well sequestered in a windowed backroom away from food and drinks. Plus, if you’ve ever had to sit and flip through magazines from 2005 as you wait for your hair appointment you will be thankful for a chance to pass the time trying to get your name on the pinball Leader Board while sipping an Old Fashioned.

Saint Franks.2

The space is itself is the real draw. Walls featuring subway tiles, exposed brick and vintage tattoo prints compliment impossibly high ceiling giving it the feel of a dive bar without the grime and dinge. Pincombe and Conrad did most of the work with many of the features, including the bar, designed and installed through hours of YouTube videos and good old fashioned DIY, as our generation is wont to do. The visuals, acoustics, the lighting and the menu draw us into an appreciation for a return to blue collar aesthetic. And its not curated or done with ironic intent. When you boil it down this is a barber and a motorcycle mechanic who wanted to create a cool spot to play arcade games, sip bourbon, eat some dirty old comfort food and hey, you gotta get a hair cut at some point.

Saint Franks

1320 Broad St., Victoria, BC




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