'Old school' barbershop to cater to upscale clientele on Lady's Island

emoody@beaufortgazette.comSeptember 27, 2013 

Barry and Denise Jenkins think something is missing when it comes to personal-care options for the professional man in Beaufort and the Sea Islands.

So the Newark, N.J., transplants are opening their version of an old-school barbershop with all the treatments for a polished appearance -- from hot shaves to manicures to eyebrow maintenance -- done by licensed barbers sporting ties.

"That's what the industry is missing," Barry Jenkins said. "Everything is too nonchalant."

He hopes to open Frankie's Barbershop in the Lighthouse Plaza, 81 Sea Island Parkway, on Oct. 13, his 40th birthday. It was the former home of Carolina Custom Carts, which moved to 108 Sea Island Parkway.

Jenkins says he grew up around and worked with traditional barbers in Newark. After his father's death, he and his wife moved to Beaufort to be with family in the area.

"The island doesn't have any authentic barbershops that really cater to the people on the island," Jenkins said.

Although the focus will be on men, the shop will also provide services for women, Denise Jenkins said. They are hiring a multicultural staff and want it to be inclusive to all. Live music and chef-catered events are being planned for the parking lot some nights to encourage the community feel the couple want to cultivate.

She walked around the sparse storefront Monday night, describing how they intend to renovate it from a "warehouse" look to a polished shop with wood floors, artistic walls, chrome fixtures and two TVs.

The shop is named for her uncle, who worked as a barber and used his hair-trimming skills to pay his way through college. He later worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigations.

"He's just a really good guy, and he makes everyone laugh," Denise Jenkins said.

In other changes about town:

  • Tying into the barbershop theme, Olive the Above, a tasting shop for olive oils, vinegars and more, has opened in the former Lipsitz Department Store in the part of the building that housed a barbershop.

    Olive the Above opened Sept. 15 at 821 Bay St. in downtown Beaufort, and co-owner Barbara Meyer said they went through 3,000 tasting cups in the first 10 days. Customers are invited to try different flavors of oils from tiny cups or by spritzing them on popcorn.

    Meyer, who owns the store with her husband, Bob, said the oils are of high quality and healthy, and can be "an alternative to giving wine," she said. "Every time they use it, they'll think of the person who gave it."

    The store does tasting parties and also carries a variety of foods, glassware and pottery, and decorated gourds from a supplier up North that Meyer said she's sworn to not reveal.

    Information: 843-379-2000, facebook.com

  • Valentine Driving School and Valentine Vacuum Sales and Service will have a grand opening Oct. 4 and 5 at 820-D Parris Island Gateway, with drawings for prizes.

    The school provides drivers education, behind-the-wheel training, and insurance premium-discount programs. The vacuum business sells and repairs all makes and models and carries cleaning supplies.

    Information: Driving school, 843-379-0155; vacuum sales and service, 843-379-5595

Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/IPBG_Erin.

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