This post is written by Tim Simeone, Visitor Information Specialist for Experience Columbus. You can follow Tim on Twitter @GetToColumbus.
It has been some time since I had been to a barber shop. In fact, the last memory of a barber shop is as a little kid, my dad tossing my brother and me in the car and heading to see John the barber. I remember it being something special we did, you know, as MEN. Somewhere along the line my mom took control and started taking me to salons then once I had to pay for my own haircuts, I wound up at Supercuts. Recently I became nostalgic about my time at the barber shop and sought out a place in Columbus. I found Old Familiar Barber Shop in Old Town East.
Old Familiar is located on Parsons Ave just south of Broad Street and across the street from Carabar. It honors all the traditions of the barbershop while providing a new and hip atmosphere. Kenji Prince, owner and barber started the shop “out of necessity.” He continues, “We decided that we wanted a place to work that we would want to be a customer. We needed jobs and Columbus needed a barber shop that provided our kind of service.”
The design of the shop came as naturally as its creation, “I was asked who designed the shop? I tried to explain that we had no designer. I simply grabbed things that I thought looked cool and the shop came together naturally.” The shop is equipped with vintage barber shop antiques, leather chairs, a coat rack, old wooden doors and a mounted deer smoking a cigarette.
In addition to the vintage charm, the barbershop houses two barbers with great talent and great personality: Prince and his friend, Josh Wilbur. Prince and Wilbur joke back and forth including the people in their chair and those waiting for the next cut, “Sometime a thick skin is required because we like to joke, but it’s all in good fun, we get as much of a hard time as we give,” says Prince.
Though Kenji and Josh joke while they give you your cut, they don’t sacrifice craftsmanship. You can tell their wealth of training and attention to detail as the shave around your ears and neck with a straight edge.
Besides a haircut, Old Familiar offers straight edge shaves, beard trims, something called the “Hangover Cure Shave Deluxe,” and also legal marriage ceremonies. That’s right, Kenji can give you a great cut/shave and marry you. “We do things fun and easy in here, marriages are no different. It’s similar to going to the courthouse and getting the legal junk out of the way, but we will make you laugh and drink a shot in your honor with you when it’s all said and done,” says Prince. Besides weddings the shop hosts art shows and other after hour events, “In the future we plan on having more live music, more cigar nights on the patio” says Prince. If you are looking for a clean cut and a great nostalgic barbershop experience or maybe you want to get married, head to Old Familiar. For more information visit their website at www.oldfamiliarbarbershop.com.