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This cultishly popular chop-shop, with butter-yellow walls and exposed brass-pipe fittings, occupies a tiny storefront in the landmarked London Terrace apartment complex. Since 1997, well-groomed Chelsea guys and clued-in gents from all over the city have been lining up for reliable, stylish cuts that won't send them into credit-card debt. And line up they do: Since there are only three stations, there's a perpetual queue of BlackBerry-punching patrons waiting to don a salmon-colored smock and get snipped, clipped, or buzzed. (Arriving when the shop opens is the only way to guarantee a fairly fast turnaround.) Bertilda Garcia, the affable proprietor, honed her trade at the Sherry-Netherland hotel's barber shop and has exacting standards for her own business. Meticulous, unhurried cuts are the norm, and she also insists on a scrupulously clean space, a relaxed vibe (other than the stereo, noise is kept to a minimum), and Kiehl's products (the only ones used). Old-school touches like straight-razor cleanups and steaming, menthol-scented towels are incorporated into every service.
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