Patriot Barbershop celebrates ribbon cutting
Bobby Helton, wielding scissors, owner of Patriot Barbershop and Shaving Parlor in Morristown, and his brothers, David, left, and James, right, show 2013 Chamber Chairman Randy DeBord that ribbon cuttings are not for the faint of heart.
The Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce’s first ribbon cutting of 2013 was jovial to say the least, thanks to Chamber Chair Randy Debord’s determination to focus on the positives and a small business owner who has found a comfortable niche in the market.
“This is not just a regular barber shop,” DeBord told the group of Chamber ambassadors and staff, and friends and family of Bobby Hughes, the owner of Patriot Barbershop and Shaving Parlor, during the celebration held Jan. 15
Hughes and his brother, David, brought to fruition a decades old dream by creating an environment that is “pretty much the same as in granddad’s day,” according to Hughes. The knotty pine paneling, 100-year-old Paidar barber chairs, antique lather machines, shelves of various tonics and products hearken back to the feel of a Norman Rockwell painting.
“It kind of made me feel right at home,” DeBord said, adding that his father was a barber. DeBord pointed out the extensive renovations completed by the Helton brothers to the building situated near the lower parking area of Morristown-Hamblen High School East, directly across from Sherwood Park.
“What you see is what we were looking for,” Helton said. He added that retro barbershops are a trend sweeping across the country and even around the world.
“I think some of it has to do with it being a fad,” he said. “Shows like Mad Men and others depicting men with oldschool looks have been partly responsible. Also, there is a new interest in Rockabilly music and with that comes the styles. Back in the old days, getting a shave at the local barbershop was a necessity. Some guys came in every day for a shave. With the invention of the Gillette razor, men started shaving at home. Today there is a trend to return to wet shaving.”
DeBord revealed that he and Helton discovered they had gone to school together during the third and fourth grades – “About 20 years ago,” Helton joked.
DeBord retorted with, “You know he’ll be a good barber because he can lie really well.”
Patriot Barbershop and Shaving Parlor is aptly named. In addition to offering a full line of services like facials, scalp massages, deep conditioning treatments and OnRite hair replacements, Helton will offer a vintage seat to customers for cut throat, straight razor shaves.
Helton attributes the renewed interest in the old fashioned style of shaving to “men wanting to look and act like men again.” He added, “It may also be because of the suffering economic times. It’s luxury that fits most any budget.”
The shop is not for men only, Helton said. “We have a lot of women clients, too. I like the variety.”
The Patriot offers free Wifi for customers; however the mission of the business is to slow everything down for bit with a relaxing atmosphere.
“We don’t even have a TV,” Helton said. “We want the shop to be a place where clients can turn off their cell, kick back, relax and enjoy their service.”
Helton’s styles include the old standards: high-and-tights, flattops and businessman’s cuts, as well as bald fades, fro hawks, faux hawks, mohawks, even-all-overs and comeback cuts like pompadours and afros. “Tight line-ups and pencil sideburns are no problem, for any ethnicity,” Helton said.
Hours for the shop are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday and 6 a.m. to noon on Saturday. Walk-ins are always welcome; however, appointments are preferred. To make an appointment, call 423-254-3635.
-By Glenna Howington, Tribune Staff Writer