Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Barbershop a Man Cave Where Moms Welcome, Too

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Barbershop a Man Cave Where Moms Welcome, Too

Article excerpt

When the Great Southern Shopping Center opened in the 1950's on Washington Pike in Collier, it boasted a J.C. Penney department store, an A & amp; P, a Thrift Drug store, a Steinmetz Bakery, and an Isaly's ice cream shop among the many retail establishments.

Since then all of the original stores have either moved or gone out of business except for one - a barber shop with a simple sign reading "Barber Shop" above the entrance.

It is the home of J.R.'s Great Southern Barber Shop, now celebrating 60 years in business at the same location.

The second-generation owner and proprietor J.R. Hoffman takes a lot of pride in being the last man standing when it comes to staying in business so long at the same location.

He attributes the shop's success to more than just offering good haircuts at a reasonable price.

"There's love involved. It's a passion. I greet and shake each customer's hand when they come in," he said.

His personal approach to customer service might help explain his business's longevity.

"A young man came in one Friday night at closing. He had a very bad haircut, and was getting married the next day. I stayed opened, fixed the bad cut, and had a customer for life," he said, still chuckling at the memory.

The standard haircut at his shop that employs five barbers is a traditional style cut with hot lather and shave.

"We're a man cave where mom is welcome," he said.

Firefighters, EMT's, police officers and military personnel are among his steady customers.

It's not unusual for a firefighter or an EMT to jump out of barber chair when an emergency call comes through, but he's always ready to finish up their haircut when they come back.

Mr. Hoffman understands it's all part of their job, and their service is recognized on the shop's "Wall of Honor."

The Wall of Honor features hundreds of donated patches from police departments, fire departments and all branches of military service displayed on a wall running the length of shop. …

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