Pi Cis, wearing medical mask, trims his customer's hair at Ko Tang barbershop in Glodok, West Jakarta. (JG Photo/Catur Nugroho)

Oldest Barbershop in Jakarta Stays Open Despite Pandemic


APRIL 10, 2020

Ko Tang is the oldest existing barbershop in Jakarta, having first opened in 1936, nine years before Indonesia's independence. The current shop is located in Gang Gloria, a small alley in Glodok, the capital's Chinatown, among a row of noodle stalls, candy shops and right next to Jakarta hipsters' favorite kopitiam, Tak Kie.

Ko Tang's three barbers Pi Cis, A Pau and A Ciu are not just master barbers with dozens of years' experience, they are also experts at ear cleaning using an arsenal of different ear picks and brushes. 

Pi Cis is the third-generation owner of the barbershop. His father was also a barber in Ko Tang before him. A Pau has been working in Ko Tang for 15 years while A Ciu had just joined a year ago.
Ko Tang has many loyal customers and has so far stayed open during the coronavirus pandemic. Pi Cis and the other barbers now wear a mask when serving their customers, who they also ask to don masks while being pampered.

On the walls at Ko Tang, you can see framed photographs of famous people who have enjoyed the Ko Tang treatment, including President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, billionaire and former Jakarta deputy governor Sandiaga Uno, local politician Haji Lulung and another former deputy governor of the capital, Djarot Saiful Hidayat.

Inside the Ko Tang Barbershop on a daily basis. Today every barber and customer have to wear mask amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in Jakarta. (JG Photo/Catur Nugroho)
The interiors of Ko Tang barbershop. (JG Photo/Catur Nugroho)
Ko Tang Barbershop uses the manual barber tools. (JG Photo/Catur Nugroho)
Old-school kits, including straight razors. (JG Photo/Catur Nugroho)
Pi Cis and Ko Tang Barbershop customer wearing medical mask inside the barbershop. (JG Photo/Catur Nugroho)
Pi Cis in action. (JG Photo/Catur Nugroho)
Customers line up to get the haircut in Ko Tang Barbershop in Glodok, West Jakarta. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Regulars wait for their turn. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Some photos are seen in the barbershop showing Indonesian politician and public figures who got their haircut in Ko Tang Barbershop. (JG Photo/Catur Nugroho)
A framed photograph of President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo when he was governor of Jakarta at Ko Tang. (JG Photo/Catur Nugroho)
Pi Cis, the owner of Ko Tang Barbershop, stands in front of his stall in Glodok, West Jakarta. (JG Photo/Catur Nugroho)
Owner Pi Cis in front of his shop. (JG Photo/Catur Nugroho)