ECHO PARK — L.A. Times columnist Steve Lopez pays a visit to what is probably the neighborhood’s smallest barbershop, a one-chair affair tucked behind a stairway painted in red, white and blue stripes. Here, owner Cecilia Rios, who took over the Echo Barber Shop after her father retired, is competing against newer and flashier newcomers that have opened up as the neighborhood has gentrified.
The Echo Park Avenue shop’s base of Latino working class customers has shrunk over the years, and many of her competitors offer a wider variety of cuts, services and grooming products.
But Rios appears to be holding her own thanks in part to bargain prices — $10 haircuts — and a welcoming vibe.
One of Rios’ customers, banker Joseph Kim, told Lopez:
“I like Cecilia. I know her and I’ve gotten to know her family, and it’s all about comfort, isn’t it? When you come here, it feels comfortable.”
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