A new barbershop opened Sept. 12 on Court Street and has gained attention from Ohio University students who have been searching for suitable new barbers who specialize in working with all different types of hair.
Formerly home to the Chop Shop Barbershop, Bam & Bros Barbershop has taken residence in the same location on 20 S. Court St., near the Athena Theatre.
Currently, the shop takes appointments. It can also accommodate walk-in customers with prices ranging from $25 and up, depending on specific services like line-ups or kids’ haircuts.
The barbershop was recently founded by Geoff “Razor” West, who is looking forward to the new shop’s first city inspection. The inspection ensures a business is following proper permit, licensing and safety protocols put in place by the city of Athens.
“The process is actually easy,” West said. “Once a space becomes available, you have to license it as a barbershop. Since this was already a barbershop for years before, it was already licensed as one, so I just had to transfer the license to me. Now, we're currently waiting on our first inspection that comes within 90 days after you open … so pretty simple.”
West also added with COVID-19 still looming, the shop follows health protocols to keep individuals safe inside the shop. Although employees are required to wear masks while cutting hair, customers may have to remove their masks while getting haircuts.
“You're required to wear a mask when you come in here … We're always going to have a mask on at all times,” West said. “We do what we can. We follow the protocols.”
West emphasized the shop advocates for diversity and inclusion with its customers. The shop cuts multiple hair types, and customers range from numerous demographics and backgrounds.
“So, this is really a space (for) everyone,” West said. “This is not just a shop designated to serve a person’s color … We welcome anyone who walks through the door.”
West’s business partner, Sealonda Davis Smith, a professional barber, shared her experience with working with West over the past six years in Athens and witnessing her perceived need for new barbers on Court Street.
“(West) came down for a weekend, told me about it and then I came down with him probably the following weekend,'' Smith said. “Just seeing how businesses grow out here, seeing the necessity for a barber … throughout the six years, I mean, it's been great.”
OU students have noticed the shop and have expressed eagerness to try out Athens’ newest barber shop.
One student, Sedric Granger, a sophomore studying journalism, has yet to visit the shop but plans on visiting soon because he has been searching for a new barber in Athens instead of going home for a local haircut.
“I usually always go back home to Columbus,” Granger said. “One of the few barber shops that they had here, what I found last year, was really expensive … but I always was just like, ‘Hey, if they're going to charge a really high price, I might as well to go back home and go to the barber I'm already familiar with.’”
Charlie Andruss, a sophomore studying media arts production, recommends other students check out the new shop because he had a good experience.
“I scheduled it through whatever website is in their Instagram bio. I know they have walk-ins, but I just had a set date … I had extremely long hair. It was about a year grown out,” Andruss said. “I walked in, and when I sat down, they shaved everything off first, and then we were finally able to start to cut my hair, and it was kind of a strange experience for me because I had never had a very detailed haircut before.”
He also said this was his first experience in Athens with haircuts.
“It was just a really cool experience,” Andruss said. “Back home, it was a lot of commercial haircuts and places like that, but this felt really homey … I would totally recommend it to anybody else.”
Correction: A previous version of this article stated the wrong spelling of West and Smith’s names, the wrong walk-in price and the incorrect statement that the stop primarily gets its customers through appointments. This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information.