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Iconic ‘Joyce’s Barbershop’ open once again

Charlie Burke, right, the new owner of Joyce’s Barbershop cuts Ian Nagel’s hair. The salon that has been in the Central Valley for 50 years is once again in business. - Seraine Page
Charlie Burke, right, the new owner of Joyce’s Barbershop cuts Ian Nagel’s hair. The salon that has been in the Central Valley for 50 years is once again in business.
— image credit: Seraine Page

Joyce’s Barbershop is back in business.

Although the shop has had an assortment of owners, the original owner’s name is the one that always remains.

“It never occurred to me to change the name,” said Charlie Burke, Joyce’s Barbershop’s new owner. “I’ve had a few people say that’s a respectable thing to do.”

Burke believes he’s making the right decision to keep the name as its been the past 50 years. After all, he’s hoping his stay will be much more permanent than previous owners. Even though numerous owners have opened and closed doors, many of Burke’s customers are familiar with the location.

Because the building has always been in the same spot, customers know exactly where to go.

The 34-year-old took over the shop just 10 weeks ago, but he’s already filled it with his own style. He dresses for comfort —jeans, a long sleeved shirt and a baseball cap — an outward sign of his easy-going nature.

A round “Life is Good” art piece hangs on the wall. National Geographic magazines cover a table between waiting area chairs. A black binder full of his realism drawings sit on a table to the side.

His clientele are also turning out to be rather predictable, he said.

“Ninety percent of my customers are old men. It’s old guy maintenance,” he joked.

That means getting the cut close around the ears, he said. Although most of his clients are men, Burke has a cosmetology degree, which allows him to cut hair of all types.

“It gives me a chance to do my own thing,” Burke said of owning the shop.

On Jan. 11, to remind the community that Joyce’s Barbershop is back, he plans to have a grand re-opening of the shop. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., he wants the public to stop in and see what he’s up to in Joyce’s old lair.

Prior to Burke purchasing the shop, it remained empty for several months.

Recently, an older gentleman came into the shop for a haircut on one particularly rainy and cold day. He told Burke he had passed by the shop many times, but he never stopped in for a cut.

He was glad he finally did. He was sorry he didn’t stop in sooner, he said.

Sometimes, when it is rainy out, Burke will walk the elderly to their car, shielding them from pelting raindrops falling from the sky. He keeps the umbrella right next to the front door.

“I just want them to feel comfortable,” Burke said of his customers. “I want to get to know them.”

Even though he’s still getting the word out, new customers are starting to pick up, he said.

Ian Nagel, a Navy transplant from Charleston, recently stopped in to get his hair cut. He had moved to the area a few days prior and needed a haircut before checking in at his newest command.

“We just moved to the area,” said Nagel. “I just saw the sign and needed a haircut.”

Burke hopes more customers will continue to drop in as he builds a name for himself in Joyce’s former domain.

For the ever loyal customers, some things—aside from the shop name —will have remained the same.

Upon entering the property where the shop sits, a slow, flashing light pole sits at the front of the property. As customers walk up, the spinning barber’s pole is a reminder that the small home is actually a barbershop. The most prominent pieces are the three 1930s Chicago-made barbershop chairs — heavy metal chairs where his customers are propped up as they get their hair clipped, shaved and trimmed.

“It’s pretty crazy how a haircut can affect people,” said Burke. They feel good and well-groomed by the end of the visit, he said.

His friend Joseph Rogers agreed.

“It’s exhilarating to get that haircut you want,” said Rogers. “At least here you have someone paying enough attention to detail.”

In fact, it is the details that Burke enjoys listening to during conversations with his clients. Whatever a client wants to talk about, Burke is open to it—the weather, hearing aids, politics—he’s heard about it all.

Burke also loves to talk about the future, and what it may hold. For him, he is hopeful it will be full of good news for his shop.

“My hopes for the future are keeping it as a sustainable shop,” he said. “And take care of all these people who live in Central Valley.”

He even thinks he may give it to his daughter if she’s interested in cutting hair. If not, Burke will stay at it for a long while, he hopes.

“It’s been here 50 years, another 50 years wouldn’t hurt,” he said. “I’d be the oldest barbershop for sure.”

Joyce’s Barbershop is open Tues. through Sat. from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The shop is located at 574 NW Bucklin Court in Bremerton.

 

 

 

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