The shop’s owner, Kenji Prince, makes it clear that Olde Towne East was the ideal place for his new venture. “It’s a great neighborhood,” he says, “lots of exciting business happening there.”
Prince grew up in Columbus. After years of traveling and cutting hair in the “dungeons of the barber underworld” as he calls it, Prince and fellow barber Josh Wilbur decided to join forces to bring the city “a new experience it so deserved.”
We first heard about Prince’s venture in December, when The Metroprenuer interviewed him about how he was getting his business started…
As the name suggests, Old Familiar Barber Shop offers traditional grooming services, like straight razor shaves. However, the shop’s owner, Kenji Prince, is thinking outside the box to offer experiences that are anything but dated.
Like many barbers, Prince dreamed of opening his own shop, “a place where you get to make the rules and tell your kind of jokes,” he says.
“I want to earn a living, but I also want to have fun in life,” he adds. “This is my way of doing both.”
Old Familiar is slated to open in early 2012 at 116 Parsons Ave. in Olde Towne East. Why did Prince choose that particular location?
“It’s across from my favorite bar,” he says, meaning Carabar.
And after only a few days being open, 614 Magazine featured Old Familiar prominently in their article about Columbus barbershops…
The focus at Old Familiar is on gentlemen’s grooming; the vision seems part and parcel of the Short North men’s fashion boutique revival. But don’t be intimidated. It’s still a barbershop in all the best ways: relaxed environs, good conversation, and even a Playboy or two on the racks should you ever have to wait. The proper haircut may take an hour, but it’ll last you six weeks – make the trip to Parsons, and Kenji will tell you himself. He owns the joint, cuts hair like a boss, and put it to me just like this: “I am at the shop every day doing something. If I’m not there, I can be there in 20 minutes.” Also, the shop’s location was no accident. “It’s a great neighborhood [Olde Towne East], lots of exciting business happening there. I wanted a destination shop that brings more people to the area.”