Tulsa Barber To Retire With New Shop

Tuesday, February 24th 2009, 5:55 pm
By: News On 6

By Rick Wells, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Mike Barnett has been cutting hair on the same corner in east Tulsa for more than 40 years.  Saturday will be his last day at the shop.  You may be surprised at how the veteran barber plans to spend his retirement.

Long time customers have been stopping in to get a haircut and wish Mike Barnett well.  His wife and daughter put together a picture board of memories.

"That's what the old barber shop looked like when we came here," said barber Mike Barnett.

There is a picture of Barnett giving his grandson his first haircut.  There are photos of three generations of customers.

Barnett says when he first started working at his shop, 21st and Garnett was a four-way stop and there were cows and horses across the road.

"In about five years time this all developed and built in solid, ya know," said Mike Barnett.

He said years ago the State of Oklahoma regulated the price of a haircut, not how much you could charge, but how little.

"You could charge as much as your customers would pay, but you couldn't charge less than two dollars," said Mike Barnett.

The price right now is $11.  Seniors get a discount.  Barnett's shop is pretty authentic looking with all kinds of things on the walls.  Signs and souvenirs a lot of the things were donated by customers. 

But, the fish he says are his, and when he goes they're going with him.  Barnett says he wants to play more golf and fish.

"I'm putting in new barber shop down by Siloam Springs, Arkansas," said Mike Barnett.

Maybe he'll be closer to the golf course and his favorite fishing hole.

There's a small party at the Cherokee Barber Shop at 21st and Garnett on Saturday with cup cakes and soda pop.  The new shop in Siloam Springs opens on Tuesday.

The Cherokee Barber Shop is not closing, Barnett is just retiring.