“You should open a shop in Asbury Park, ” was what I told Shane Bruno the first time I got my hair cut by him at his former spot up in Red Bank. “I want to but I don’t think Asbury is quite ready, ” was along the lines of what I remember Bruno saying.

Eight years or so later and Swagger and Blade calls Asbury Park home. It was an inevitability as Bruno is a perfect fit for this city.

And the funny thing is Bruno was dead on by not opening up here back then. He’s since built up a huge and loyal following and Asbury is in another world compared to where is was back around 2008 when we had that first conversation.

Plus his patience led him to an amazing space, located in the new Lakehouse addition (621Lake Ave.). Bruno’s Wanamassa location (which will continue operating and has a new barber named JT) served as the perfect beginning for his barber shop. It will carry on with the same great quality mens cuts you’ve come to know. But this shop is small and Bruno’s growing business needed another home.

Bruno’s new Swagger and Blade shop is right next door to Asbury Moto Club which we featured a few weeks back. The two side by side are a perfect fit. Both spaces have clear glass garage doors that open up on nice days and the vibe, between APMC’s motorcycles out front and Shane’s crew of barber’s cutting hair, makes for a great scene.

Here’s a bit about what Bruno had to say about his new space and calling Asbury Park home.

How’s the new space? What can customers expect to see different?

SIZE, the new shop has almost double the square footage compared to our Wanamassa location. Aside from that the shops are similar, customers can still expect that rustic feel, from the vintage pre 1930’s barber chairs and subway tiles to the reclaimed wood used throughout the shop.

On nice days we will have the shop wide open with the garage door up. When you walk up you will see our restored Theo A. Kochs company barber pole from 1932. It really sets the tone for the feel of the shop. As I previously mentioned the wood throughout the shop is all reclaimed from the building itself.

How does it feel to be located in Asbury Park?

It’s been a long time coming and it feels amazing. I’ve always had it in mind to be in Asbury but was waiting for the right time and place. I couldn’t happier! The combination of a great landlord, neighbors, and location makes this a dream come true.

What’s new in the Asbury space compared to the old space?

I want our clients to think of this as an extension of our Wanamassa location. While it is a new shop you can still expect the same environment and service that’s made Swagger & Blade what it is today. We do have two new faces, Josh and Lex, that are cutting in the new location and they are both phenomenal barbers. We’ve built this shop on the foundation that no matter who cuts your hair, you’re going to walk out with the results you’d expect every time.

What kind of events will you be doing?

We plan on having a monthly showcase for local artists, acoustic jams, and possibly a dart league. My main project is going to focus on giving haircuts to veterans and police officers who suffer from PTSD.

How are the neighbors?

I couldn’t ask for better neighbors. On one side you have Asbury Moto Club which is a one stop shop for anything that runs on two wheels. They also offer apparel from helmets to hats, jackets to jeans – they have it all. They’re a great compliment to what we are doing here and they help create a lot of foot traffic. They offer our clients a 10% discount on everything they have in stock. We encourage our clients to browse next door while waiting for a cut or to check them out after. Their customers also like to pop in to see what’s going on. It’s really a great atmosphere. On the other side is Lakehouse music which is also a great compliment and great for any of the dad’s out there that want get a cut and hang while their kids are taking lessons next door.

To make an appointment with Swagger and Blade in Asbury call 732-361-5400. Walk-ins are also welcome.

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