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Mid-Week Mugging: Mike's Barber Shop

Need a 4 a.m. appointment? No problem
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mike's barber shop
Mike Oliver has been cutting hair on Dunlop Street West for 49 years. Sue Sgambati/BarrieToday

Mike Oliver has been cutting hair on Dunlop Street West for almost half a century.

He started his career at Wick's Barber Shop in 1968, two doors east of where his shop is located now.

"Harry Wick asked me if I wanted to work for him for a couple of years so I could save money to go to University and I stayed," said Oliver, who is known simply as Mike the Barber.

He's been at his current location at 49 Dunlop Street West since 1983 with one barber chair in the tiny shop that's about 300 square feet.

He does wash and haircuts.  That's it. 

"I've had some clientele ever since I started and new people now," he said.  

"I open at 6 in the morning every morning until 3 and then 5 o'clock in the morning on Saturdays until noon."

Begs the question: who wants to get their cut at 5 a.m. on a Saturday?

"People want to be here," Oliver said. "Last week they were waiting for me when I got here."

Talk about flexible hours.

The earliest appointment Oliver has ever had was at 4 a.m.

"I don't know why. He asked to be here so I was here."

This barber doesn't cut and tell when asked if he has any famous clients.

Over many years the downtown fixture has watched Barrie grow.

"Huge. That's all I can say. I still envision Barrie as a small, compact little area but when you're coming in on either end

you know different." 

What about condos and other development?

"Nice to have them," he said. 

Oliver was born in Sturgeon Falls but his family moved to Barrie when he a baby.

He used to live right downtown but his shop has always been his second home in the city. 

"It's great. Downtown's great. I just love downtown. You get the people, you get to know the shop keepers nearby. People are friendly.  It's great."

Mike's Barber Shop is located at 49 Dunlop Street West.

 

 




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