Barbershops fill two needs: getting a haircut and chatting with local folks. Some barbers have been around for many years in the Longfellow neighborhood, like Rich at the curiously named Industrial Arts Diamond Horseshoe Barber Shop, who’s been cutting hair next to the Schooner Tavern for over a decade. He’s an affable guy who runs an old-time barbershop with some real character; sometimes the three waiting seats have people stopping in just to say hello, pass some time, and make conversation.
Longfellow is also home to the Minnesota School of Barbering, which has an intensive program for professional barbers along with offering bargain-priced services to the community. They’ve been around for three decades, training students, and launching hundreds of barbers into new careers across the Twin Cities metro area. On a recent visit, Nick was my student barber for a $7 haircut, and he did such excellent work that the instructor couldn’t find anything to touch up, when he looked over the results. Nick has a couple months to go in the program, then takes his state board exam, and already has a job lined up at a hip Minneapolis barbershop.