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Old Glory Barbershop a Throwback to Old Times

Feb 03, 2010 by Lindsay Pullin

Old Glory Barber Shop

When the words "haircut" and "beer" are in the same sentence, for reasons that escape me, people tend to react with a bit of skepticism.

At the Old Glory Barbershop, skepticism is so yesterday. This establishment is not only cool and hip–it’s the way things should be more like–despite our cookie-cutter corporate world of box stores and bar codes.

But this is not the case here, to the contrary. Old Glory is located on 1716 Main St, in Venice. It’s a small shop, but well worth a visit to see what they offer.  They cater to haircuts for both men and women, and traditional style tattoos, and are known to offer you a beer—or two–to go with your cut.

On my visit this past Saturday, I accompanied a friend who was looking to get her long hair trimmed, and wanted to patron a local place that wouldn’t over-charge for their services.  We arrived a little after 1pm, and there was no wait, so my friend sat down immediately in a red, vinyl, traditional-style barber chair.  I sat at the tattoo counter on a stool and started going through the display books of tattoos, as my eye was immediately drawn to the Sailor Jerry flip book. 

Nandu More, aka “the hip Indian chick", set right to work, first offering us both a Pabst Blue Ribbon, and then telling my friend to stand while she cut off the bottom portion of her long hair, so she could get to work cutting layers. There was no awkward conversation that sometimes occurs when someone is invading your personal space, as the beer loosened everyone up, and Nandu was personable and easy to talk to.

The shop itself was bright and alternately traditionally and modernly decorated, with a barbershop pole on the wall, and punk band posters framed above the mirror.  Nandu was the only female giving hair cuts that day, but there were two tattoo armed men who were dishing out hair cuts on either side to men, and as the cut went on, a wait started forming. 

JEFF 1

The speakers pumped out classic punk, but not to excruciating decibels, and during the hair cut, three tattoo artists showed up with their lunches and one started working on a new canvas. Everyone was friendly and talkative, and I felt comfortable hanging out waiting for the cut to finish.

The Old Glory has recently changed ownership and is partially run by Jeff, who hails from New Jersey. Jeff is the owner of the tattoo portion of the shop, and has been giving tattoos for five years, specializing in traditional tattoos–think Sailor Jerry–and Japanese styles; but the shop will accommodate any style requested.

Nandu finished the cut in about 40 minutes, and then started to tout the good word of the tattoo artists, telling us the work on her arms had been done there and she was very happy with it and looking into getting more.  Although I have no tattoos myself, I thought the book of pictures demonstrating work looked professional and true to their word, traditional.

The cut cost $50 for extremely long hair, but the price varies according to hair length. Old Glory offers its patrons affordable coloring, and happy hour cuts are $5 off every day between 4pm-6pm. There is also "Traditional Tuesday", with select traditional tattoos at "traditional" prices,” along with vintage and modern styling cuts.

Red Seats

But honestly, one of the coolest things about Old Glory is that you are paying decent prices to support a local business, instead of a chain store.  Sure, the chain may charge a few dollars less, but in a town as independent and eclectic as Venice, supporting local shops is the main driver to maintaining that flavor, and keeping local dollars invested back into the community.

The economy sucks, and buying local assists local business’ stay afloat, helps people keep their jobs, and retains tax dollars for the community, while helping small business’ during these tough times so they can continue to exist, and thrive once the economy turns for the better.

Old Glory Barbershop is reminiscent of a time when the neighborhood barbershop was a place where one could hang out, get spiffed up, and enjoy the company of the person cutting your hair, as opposed to being rushed in and out as quickly as possible. The beer offered makes the situation more intimate and comfortable, as an exchange between two friends, and not a business transaction.

Here’s the scoop on Old Glory, so when you want your haircut at a relaxing and affordable local business in Venice, you’ll know exactly where to go:

Old Glory Barbershop and Tattoo
1716 Main St
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 821-1103

Photos courtesy of Melisa Winitzky

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3 Responses to “Old Glory Barbershop a Throwback to Old Times”

  1. Jim & Leslie says:

    Great write up . . . very nicely done! The barbershop & tatoo shop is bright and clean! We may be a bit prejudiced since the tattoo artist is our son. We enjoy coming out from NJ to Venice, the most idyllic place we’ve been!
    Jim & Leslie´s last blog ..Dollhouse Top Desk 2 My ComLuv Profile

    [Reply]

    Lisa Newton Reply:

    @Jim & Leslie, Having lived on the East Coast for many years, I’m a little familiar with New Jersey. I hope you’re not getting too much snow this weekend.

    Venice does have a unique charm. I love walking and people watching there.

    [Reply]

  2. Fawn says:

    Great blog! I agree, Jeff is bomb! I received a tattoo from him last Mother’s day (2009) and plan on getting another one from him this Mother’s day. I will be getting a third one from him on Mother’s day (2011). I look forward to seeing Jeff this May!!! Can’t wait to see the new place.

    [Reply]

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