ECHO PARK — After losing ground to the unisex salons, a new generation of barbershops that cater primarily to men with haircuts and shaves have made a comeback of sorts in recent years. Echo Park is already home to Manly & Sons and the New California Barbershop. Now, a new player from Orange County, American Barbershop, is planning to open an 18-seat shop on Sunset Boulevard with a decidedly man cave-like atmosphere.
“We are going to be a big, loud shop,” said American Barbershop owner George Mendoza, who has leased the former Crown Shoes store for barbershop.
The 42-year-old Mendoza, who has also owned barbershops in the Inland Empire in addition to the current American Barbershop in Downtown Santa Ana, is no stranger to Echo Park, where he frequently visited his grandparents and other family members. The former shoe store on Sunset near Echo Park Avenue, which had been one of several storefronts on the block that had been up for lease, is bigger than he would have preferred. But Mendoza said it provides a lot of visibility, which is important to a business that relies a lot on walk-in traffic.
In addition to haircuts starting at $25, American Barbershop’s Echo Park location will also sell men’s grooming products, like pomades, as well as t-shirts.
Mendoza is currently renovating the storefront, exposing brick walls, wood rafter and beams and windows that have long been covered over with signage. He is planning to open before the summer.
While his business will cater primarily to men, Mendoza acknowledge the importance of women, especially moms who bring in their sons for a haircut, to his business. “We want a masculine atmosphere but we have to be careful that we don’t scare away women.”
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