Tortoise & the Hare
1470 York Avenue
No matter how much you sugarcoat the enterprise, bribe the subject, or threaten a time-out, getting a young child to sit still for a haircut is a chore. Back in 1995, Joe Panasci decided to lighten parents’ load when he opened Tortoise & the Hare, putting highly skilled, fast-moving haircutters in a whimsical fantasy designed by the team that built the scenery for Phantom and Les Miz with a five-foot-high pocket watch on the back wall. Haircutting stations each have their own TV and VCR, with the volume set to low so kids can zone out or play video games. But it’s the stylists, at $22 a head, who really deserve the credit. Christine and Meelo can turn a 3-year-old fusspot into model material before the end of the opening number of The Lion King.
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