Get a shave, play some games at Ray Rae’s

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There is a new place in Belen for gentlemen.

Ungelbah Daniel-Davila-News-Bulletin photo: Barber Eric Miller, left, and Ray Feldbusch, right, barber and owner of Ray Rae’s Barber Shop in Belen, pay homage to the roots of barbering with hot towel face shaves using straight razors.

Ray Rae’s Barber Shop, which opened its doors at 233 N. Main Street on Nov. 1, evokes the spirit of barber shops of old, where men could enjoy a hair cut and hot towel shave.

Along the north facing mirrors are three vintage barber shop chairs, one from 1935 and the other two circa 1950. However, with the high definition satellite, Play Station, WiFi and ping pong table, Ray Rae’s is clearly a place for the modern man.

Owner Ray Feldbusch is a 2010 graduate of the Albuquerque Barber College, and a former employee of Jake’s Barber Shop in Los Lunas.

“I’ve always cut hair, so I just needed that (diploma),” says Feldbusch, a 2003 Belen High School graduate, of his decision to become a barber.

He said he discovered his gift about five years while working for the Los Lunas Community Program. He said there were a lot of disadvantaged men in the program who needed help with things as basic as getting a haircut, so one day he decided to pick up a pair of clippers and lend a hand.

The skill “came naturally,” says Feldbusch, who said he wanted to be a mechanic when he was growing up and never imagined he’d become a barber instead.

Working along side Feldbusch is barber Eric Miller, a fellow Albuquerque Barber College alum, who has been in the business for 13 years. Miller says barbering started out for him in the garage, cutting friend’s hair in high school.

“I started off by just cutting my friends’ hair in the garage and someone else saw it and said, ‘Who cut your hair?’ And it goes from there,” says Miller.

Feldbusch decided to go into business for himself when his wife’s grandparents began talking about the building that now harbors his shop. He talked them into letting him remodel and make it his own.

The remodel took two years and included work to the sheet rock, plumbing, air conditioning, electrical and replacing the floors.

“It was bare studs in here,” he says.

But today the shop’s doors open to a sleek, open floor plan with a classy combination of old and new innovations in barbering, such as the Play Station, which customers can play while they wait to get their hair cut, or the yellow coiled tubes at connect to the compressed air the men use to blow cut hair from customers’ necks.

But the men are also staying true to the heritage of barbering with hot towel face shaves with a genuine straight razor.

“A lot of people nowadays, our age, they’ve never had a face shave,” says Feldbush.

Hair cuts start at $12, and the men say they are able to give quality hair cuts in as little as 10-15 minutes, for the man on the fly.

Razor fades start at $17, and face shaves are $10 or the shop offers a $20 haircut and face shave package.

The shop is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and by appointment on Sunday and Monday. For information, call Ray Rae’s at 252-1360.


-- Email the author at udavila@news-bulletin.com.