While in San Diego, California recently we could not pass up the opportunity to catch up and film a second video with Marc Bennett back at Pappy’s Barber Shop. Tucked away in the College Heights area a few miles from downtown San Diego, Pappy’s provides a wonderful social atmosphere where you can truly blend in like a local.
“The barbershop really is a place for people. It’s just a really communal place the barbershop.” -Marc Bennett
On our travels we are always trying to seek out locally owned and operated shops that foster community building. At Pappy’s you will find a blend of that old school with a modern touch. Haircuts, beard trims, and classic hot towel shaves provided by eight barbers and one apprentice.
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Pappy’s Barbershop was the last stop on our final day in San Diego. The previous day we spent exploring some great local recommendations from both Rob Hammer, photographer behind the Barbershops of America books, and from Marc Bennett.
Lets just say we spent the day eating very well and taking in some beautiful spots around town! If you are going to be in San Diego anytime soon then read about our day out in and around San Diego to get some ideas of what to see and where to eat.
An Old School Vibe At Pappy’s Barber Shop
Pappy’s started out as a single chair co-located in Marc’s tattoo shop back in 2010. Over time the barbershop became very busy and the demand outgrew the one chair. So in 2015 Marc relocated the barber shop down the road to a bigger space with five chairs.
Marc reflects back on the hard work and long hours it took to slowly build up the businesses. Working more than one job seven days a week. Success does not happen over night and there are a lot of personal sacrifices along the way Marc explains.
We first filmed a haircut experience and interview with Marc a couple years ago. Since sharing the videos they have been receiving a consistent flow of viewers on the HairCut Harry YouTube channel. We are very excited to see the haircut video we filmed with Marc is getting close to a million views! Sit back and watch that video below before reading on!
Marc talks about Pappy’s being a communal place for people to be. The shop being an integral part of the local community where customers will visit every few weeks picking up each time where the conversation left off on the previous visit. We were no different, a couple years later we found ourselves exchanging India travel stories with Marc who has a few of his own to share if you ever dare ask!
Building Community & Friendships At Pappy’s
“It should be a fun and interesting place to come. You know more importantly to me is that people come and have a good time at our shop.” -Marc Bennett
Marc believes that barbershops are one of the last places where a person is forced to sit and have a conversation for half an hour. At Pappy’s, pulling out a cell phone and sitting silently next to fellow customers is discouraged. Marc says, “The barbershop is really the only place where you get to sit with another human being, your barber, and talk about life things that are happening in your life.”
Marc explains how a barbershop is special. A barber will get to know everything about the customers sitting in their chair over time. “When they have children, when they’re on vacation, when they’re getting divorced . . . You get to know a lot about them by just being a barber and them being your client,” Marc says.
“It’s a place to come and talk and not be on the Internet or on your cell phone,” Marc explains.
Watch the full interview with Marc in the video below.
Barbers Enjoying Where They Work
Marc recognizes the importance of the shop in supporting the local community. He told us, “It’s a way to get to know your community and it’s just really fun!”
Marc believes the barbershop should be a place that is interesting and fun. A space that has “flavor” to it, not a cookie cutter generic kind of place. Pappy’s shop has instruments so you can pick up a guitar and play while you are visiting the barbershop. One guy brought an accordion into the shop to play a few times, and the customers loved that off-beat type of performance.
It’s very nice because you get people in here who live in this neighborhood Marc explains. The people in the local community bring life to the shop and spread that positive energy when they leave. Although most of the customers are from the local neighborhood, Marc does see his share of people from out of town including some who have visited after watching our videos!
“It really is good for my soul to be able to provide a place for people to work . . .” -Marc Bennett
Barbers work in close quarters with each other so it is hard to avoid getting to know each other. As barbers, we all “care about each other’s lives and that’s the most important thing to me just being a business owner and a human being really,” Marc explains.
Whether you are in need of a quick beard trim or a haircut topped off with a hot lather razor neck shave and splash of Gabels Bay Rum. “You know more importantly to me is that people come and have a good time at our shop,” Marc adds.
I stopped by the shop to catch up with Marc and for a traditional hot towel straight razor shave. A calming end to the day. Of course we filmed the experience too but if you are ever in San Diego make sure to stop by for a Pappy’s experience in person! In the meantime, you can enjoy the relaxing shave video we filmed.
LocationPappy’s Barber Shop
6528 El Cajon Blvd.
San Diego CA 92115