'HAIR of the dog' has taken on a whole new meaning in Darlington, with a combined barbers shop and bar opening in the town.

And the name above the door might be familiar as former Big Brother winner, Anthony Hutton, is the shop’s owner.

The unique Mr Hutton’s Barbers and Bar, in Blackwellgate, welcomed its first customers before Christmas and Mr Hutton, from Consett, is pleased with the progress.

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He said: “I’ve had the idea for ages and it was one of those things that was put on a pedestal, but I was always hell-bent on doing it.

“I started doing research about it and couldn’t find anything like it – though Carlsberg had an advert saying, ‘if we did barber shops’, and that’s the kind of concept I’ve gone for.

“I’ve been in Darlington for the last three years with my partner, Sophie, and we have a lot of friends and support in the area.

“When we saw the spot had become available, we just had to have it.”

The former Ron’s Music store was converted to accommodate a barbers area at the back of the shop, which is closed off to the bar each evening.

Clients have already received cut-throat shaves and haircuts from owner Mr Hutton, who completed his hairdresser training in Darlington.

He added: “There was a mixed reaction when people heard about it being a barbers and bar and you’re always going to get some differences of opinion and thoughts, but once people came inside, they were happy with it.

“It’s already going really well and we’ve had a great response so far.”

And Mr Hutton has been supported by his mother, Annette Hutton, from Consett, who has praised her son’s ambition to open the quirky barbers and bar.

Ms Hutton said: “It’s really busy already and that’s only through word of mouth or people passing by – so far, so good.”