Owner hopes to bring long-held traditions to new Steamboat Barbershop
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — John Greco hopes when customers walk into the Steamboat Barbershop it feels as though they have stepped back in time — when a trip to the barber was about a lot more than just taking a little off the top.
“I wanted a place in downtown Steamboat Springs for all the gentleman to come hang out, whether they need a haircut or not,” Greco said. “If they just want to come in and discuss whatever is going on in town that day, that’s fine. It’s just a traditional barber shop the way it used to be and the way it ought to be.”
The shop, at 24 Fifth St., features the trademark barber’s pole on the outside of the building, and once inside, customers will discover a pair of 1910 Ernest Koken barber’s chairs that have not been apart in 108 years.
The customers will also find Greco’s warm and inviting personality, which comes from growing up in a family of barbers in New Jersey. Greco comes to Steamboat from Jupiter, Florida, where his wife owned a beauty salon, and he owned a men’s hair care shop.
“I’ve been cutting hair for 26 years,” Greco said. “Even as a child, I remember sweeping hair in my uncle’s barber shop. I wasn’t licensed when I was 15 years old, but I started cutting hair for my friends. It was just something that I picked up, and I found a really nice, creative outlet in doing it.”
He eventually went to cosmetology school, studied traditional barbering and got his barber’s license.
“I just enjoy the fraternal nature of working on men and doing men’s traditional services,” Greco said. “I’m qualified to do women’s services, but I found a niche in South Florida doing men’s services.”
As a third generation Italian barber, Greco is following in the footsteps of his grandfather, uncles and cousins.
“I’m focusing on that traditional, old world barbering craft,” he said. “I feel like nowadays the the art of barbering is dying … you get in and out of the chair as fast as possible.”
That’s not what customers will find at the Steamboat Barbershop. Greco takes walk-ins but appointments are preferred. Customers can grab a cup of coffee, an expresso or a cold drink.
“The customers will get a hot towel and a neckline-straight razor shave,” Greco said.
He enjoyed his time in Florida but wanted to move to a town where he and his wife could raise their son. The family spent several years traveling the country before deciding on Steamboat Springs.
Greco charges $20 for a traditional hair cut and also offers beard trims, razor fade, hot shave and buzzcut. The shop opened two weeks ago, and Greco is thrilled with his location on Fifth Street just before you cross the bridge that leads to the Brent Romick Rodeo Arena and Howelsen Hill.
“We truly picked this town,” Greco said. “My wife, my son and myself, we just fell in love with the town. It reminded us of a Thomas Kinkade painting.
“The product, some may argue is the Champagne powder,” Greco said. “I think … the product is the people in this town.”
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