Friday, December 7, 2018

The Loving Barbers Co. Opens on Portage Avenue

For over 40 years Mike's Place was a fixture as old style men's barber shop on the south side of Portage Avenue east of Ferry Road. Surrounded by banks, grocers and restaurants, it was smack in the middle of where guys needed to be to get a few things done at the same time and making sure they didn't look like cave men.

At age 78 Mike retired after 57 years in the business and 41 of them in the building that displayed barber ship poles on either side of his business. I recall him saying he hoped a barber shop would follow in his space.

His wish came true. The Loving Barbers Co. has opened a second location after their Corydon location. Essentially, they inherited the empty space as even the old barber chairs left with Mike. The plentiful Playboy magazines likely left as well.

The space has lovingly been restored and made over. It is a little brighter than the men's clubhouse feel of their Corydon location and the green paint makes you think 1960s St. James but it also feels rich and warm. Will former Mike's people go? I guess the big question is the cut, the price and the feel of the place. Lots of young guys want a great style and cut. However, most guys would blanch at the price women pay.

In recent years Winnipeg has seen some new barber shops emerge both in malls and independently. As more experienced barbers retire, we have seen many men have to hunt for a new place. The Loving Barber Co. on Portage feels like they want to continue the tradition and make guys feel like it a return to the old. The look is right out of the history books but the cuts as modern as they come.

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