I have always had a “thing” for men with beards, not scraggly Duck Dynasty beards but well maintained beards. It took me forever to talk Bernie into growing one. He keeps it nicely trimmed but can’t really get that crisp look a profession barber can. A few weeks ago I saw a “Coming Soon” sign in a shop window downtown Christiansburg and was pleasantly surprised when it opened as an old fashioned barber shop.
Jacob Greenawalt, a 5th generation barber recently opened Hard Part Barber & Beard Parlor. He may be young, just 27 years of age, but he is very passionate about what he does and he does it well. He learned from his grandfather who taught him the old fashioned way to cut hair and give a hot towel shave. When you get a shave, he first softens your beard with a hot towel, then treats it with oil, then softens it again with another hot towel before lathering and shaving with an old fashion straight razor. I treated Bernie to a shave, or should I say shape and trim, the other day and while we were there I asked Jacob about the shop.
The decor, which is still a work in progress, has a lot of history behind it. One of the barber chairs has been in his family for over 70 years and the pole by his window belonged to his grandfather. The pole on the back wall belonged to his great grandfather and the 3 electric guitars and 1 acoustic from his days in a southern rock band hang on the other walls along with several skateboards from his childhood. Remember Nintendo? There’s a shelf with all his old games and a pair of zapper light guns. On another shelf I spotted several wrestling action figures including Rowdy Roddy Piper. There’s a great coffee table barber shop book to glance through and comfy leather chairs where you can sit if there’s a customer ahead of you.
Talk about passion for what you do, he has a tattoo on his chest that he’s been working on for the last 3 or 4 years. Yes, I talked him into unbuttoning his shirt so I could see it. It’s a drawing of a barber pole, straight razor, shaving brush, clippers and a comb. So far it’s mostly just the outlines, but a couple doors down is another new business, Sub Rosa Studios Tattoo and Vape Shop so eventually he can get it filled in.
Oh, and by the way, Bernie’s beard has never looked better!