In a world of television shows and other media where the focus is on salons like the one featured on the Style Network’s hit program "," often lost in the shuffle is the traditional barber shop, where an old-school atmosphere and an emphasis on a crisp, clean cut still reigns supreme.
In Martinsville, a local barber shop is keeping that spirit alive and well.
Martinsville Barber Shop, on Washington Valley Road, offers a laid-back atmosphere without too many of the new-age frills seen in salons. Owned by Gani Barakaev, the barber shop specializes in men’s haircuts, including skin fades, flat tops and regular cuts.
It’s this commitment to the basics that gives Barakaev’s shop a cult following among local men of all ages and professions.
“I have a lot of my regular customers [who have been coming in],” he said.
The barber shop opened in 2009 and prides itself on its vintage feel. In addition to high-quality men’s haircuts, it also offers a hot towel and a shave to any man who comes in.
“[At a] barber shop, we do a hot towel and we shave,” Barakaev said. “A salon doesn’t shave [like we do].”
Angelo Sciara, one of the regular customers of Martinsville Barber Shop, appreciates the friendly atmosphere and the quality of Barakaev’s work. Both are factors that keep him coming back.
“Al Bundy, [a character from the sitcom ‘Married with Children’], had a show where his barber passed away and he had to go to a salon and he had gel coming out of his ears,” Sciara said, while discussing the atmosphere of Martinsville Barber Shop. “You’re going to get a nice, clean men’s haircut here.”
Open in the shop’s current location since 2009, Barakaev hopes to expand business in the area by taking to the Internet. The barber shop has plans for an upcoming website, and has already begun to increase its presence right here on Bridgewater Patch.
“We need to build a business, a good business,” he said. “I hope it’s going to help. I’m just going to hope that it’s good for me, for you and for everybody.”