Barber shop

It is harder and harder to find a good old fashioned barber in an old fashioned barber shop.

I am glad to know one in St. Paul, MN near Grand and Fairview.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Central Valley says:

    Guns and Ammo, Field and Stream on the tables. Real men talking about real life issues. Barber shops are true Americana.

  2. An American Mother says:

    In my daughter’s little college town, Davidson NC, there’s a wonderful old barber shop right on the main drag.

    Striped pole out front. NASCAR posters on the walls (hey, this is the South! and Davidson is just around the corner from the NASCAR Hall of Fame.) The barber’s grandfather started the shop.

    Actually, the whole town is like that. Mayberry RFD.

  3. Choirmaster says:

    Some tips for finding a manly barber shop can be found at the excellent blog, Art of Manliness.

    See the article How to Pick a Barber.

    The whole blog is great stuff. I highly recommend it.

  4. Supertradmom says:

    I grew up in a Midwest town with three brothers and a neighbor family of five boys, one girl and a dog. We all went together to the barber shop-the girls to watch and the boys to sustain injuries. This barber ate his lunch while cutting hair, and frequently, lunch was chicken noodle soup. Yuck, with hair…King, the mutt dog got to watch it all as well. I think the wall paper was very similar. One of my best friends is a barber and her shop, yes, she is a she, looks similar. Must be de rigueur to have barber shops look like 1950s kitchens and closets overflowing with stuff.

  5. Sedgwick says:

    You should come to Cincinnati, Father, there are plenty of such shops in business here. While you’re here, you can also enjoy some Skyline Chili and Graeter’s ice cream….celebrate a TLM or two….do an interview with Brian Patrick on the Son Rise Morning Show….take in a Reds game….(no, I don’t work for the Chamber of Commerce).

  6. Supertradmom says:

    Bye the way, love the bearskin on the wall. King would have liked that, too.

  7. Supertradmom says:

    oops, by the way, not bye the way…too excited about breakfast preparation.

  8. jmgarciajr says:

    Even harder to find is a barber who can shave properly with a straight razor. (Italy is fully stocked, last time I checked. Make sure the barber in question uses the Proraso “green” — not the “red” — shave cream.)

    There is nothing like a straight razor shave, something I highly recommend.

    As you were.


  9. m.w.scott says:

    There is an barber in Toledo who has cut my hair since I was born. He comes to work everyday in a bowtie and works in a classic barbershop with old fashioned chairs and gives you a massage with a huge old-school hand massager.

  10. Agnes says:

    Mr. Dave’s on the West Side is not bad either! Luckily, my husband is pretty handy with the sheep shears. :-)

  11. irishgirl says:

    Like the bearskin rug on the wall-pretty cool!

  12. servusmariaen says:

    The best barber I know is at Chelsea Gardens Barber Shop on 23rd Street in Manhattan. You can get a great haircut and a hot shave with straigh razor. I really miss that place. You can also enjoy Graeter’s ice cream in Louisville. It’s hands down the best ice cream i’ve ever had.

  13. The barber shop ought to have been open since at least the 1950s, or before, and the fixtures ought to date from that time period. I like a shop that uses an antique stove for heat. I expect to get a haircut just like my grandfather did – and he died in 1946, R.I.P.

    In addition to the daily newspaper, the shop ought to have car, hunting, and gun magazines: indeed, it is likely that one of the patrons waiting will in fact have a gun on him, being a police officer. There should be patriotic pictures on the wall, some trophies, and perhaps even religious items, if the barber is Catholic.

    One of my favorites is in the Soulard neighborhood of Saint Louis. The shop is so old, that it is very likely that my grandfather even sat in one of those chairs. In years past, I would prefer sitting for older barbers who may actually have cut my grandfather’s hair: however, a new generation has taken over, and many young barbers hereabouts are Bosnian.

    Topics of conversation tend to be highly local, and the shop patrons tend to be local businessmen, politicians, and workers, who discuss the goings-on of the neighborhood and city. Real estate is a popular topic of discussion, as is the employment outlook, with the barbers being generous at giving discounts to the unemployed. A distressing development is the increasing numbers of miserable divorced fathers who are bringing their children for a cut, and who talk about their spouses in disparaging terms.

    I patronize two shops in the city, and occasionally one in an older, inner-ring suburb, and thankfully there are many shops in these older and more traditional parts of town. More problematic is finding a decent barber in the newer parts of the outlying suburbs: one often finds pseudo-barber shops run by young women, who fail in their attempt to reproduce the authentic barber experience, by thinking that a barber shop can be made from scratch rather than by organic development, and also by charging far too much.

  14. Real barbers shave the back of your neck and around your ears with a straight razor as part of the haircut. It’s getting harder and harder to find barbers who do that though.

  15. EoinOBolguidhir says:

    There’s a good barber shop in the Minneapolis Airport, of all places.

  16. robert l says:

    What many of you say is true, about getting a haircut at a true, old-school barber. I agree what Mark above said about pseudo-barber shops being run by women. It is nothing against them by anymeans. But, women can be stylists, hairdressers and the like, but not a barber. I don’t feel like going in and hearing the chatter(a polite word for gossip) going on from the next chair between the stylist and someone’s Aunt Effie!

    My little motto is “Real men go to barbers, and a real barber can only be a man.”

    Up from where I am from (Lowell, Mass), growing up there were plenty of barbers to choose from. Now, there is probably only one shop in the city that comes close. There may be one other I need to check out; I hope it doesn’t have any of that garbage rap or other notorious music like the one I walked out of a while back.

    For a bit, until the mid-nineties, we had an oldtimer barber that had been cutting since the depression! A few years back I was able to still go to old Pete who was a Marine in Big One and started up his own shop just after the war. He would have playing songs from the hit parde(40’s thru 1960) and maybe have the Duke playing on a video, as well having a big photo of him on the mantle.
    We just had the last, lone older barber go out a few months ago. You were able to speak about religion with him a bit. Just my little contribution to the discussion.

  17. Charivari Rob says:

    Ever been to New Orleans, Father?

    I windowshopped a bit at their Fulton St. store while I was in town at a convention. It looks like the type of place you might favor. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time during the day to stop by and try their services (and had also gotten a haircut just prior to traveling, so I didn’t really need one).

  18. trespinos says:

    Hmmm. For all I knew, straight razor shaves disappeared (were prohibited in my state?) back in the late 80’s when the AIDS scare arose. Anyway, I have often wondered how ANY barber can make a living nowadays. If you multiply the number of customers times the going rate, it doesn’t pencil out.

  19. colospgs says:

    I used to go to one. Then last year I did St. Baldrick’s, and have been shaving my head since. Sorry, but it saves me $10 a month.

  20. Supertradmom says:

    I need to stand up for my lady barber friend. Her discussions, contrary to the descriptions above, are on conservative politics, liturgical topics, local politics, prayer,and good nutrition. Cut the stereo-typing guys, and she does have an Aunt Effie! 95% of her customers are tough Iowa farmers, priests, ministers, retired gentlemen, ( oh, and she doesn’t charge the clergy) and laborers, and none of the sissy stylist stuff. Sadly, with the recession, her business is suffering.

  21. jmgarciajr says:

    Trespinos, barbers these days use a straight razor where the blade itself is disposable, what LOOKS like a razor is merely an elaborate holder. (The brand/model of choice is the Dovo Shavette.)

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