Across the state, old-fashion barbershops are becoming increasingly rare. But Mark’s Old School Barber & Style Shop in Spearfish survives even as others close.
“It’s been going 70 years now,” said co-owner Marc Casavan. “My dad had it for forty plus of those years. He retired about 8 years ago, but still works when we need him.”
Casavan said barbershops like his are a dying breed.
“Because the barber college Amos (his cutting partner) and I went to don’t get students like they used to,” Casavan said.
“In a lot of small town barbershops, the guy who worked there 60, 70 years never handed it down to anybody, or they just got sick of cutting hair and just closed down. Definitely a dying art, less and less every year.”
Casavan’s said his shop thrives in part because they cut hair very fast.
“We work pretty quick in here. People are in such a hurry. If you take 20 or 30 minutes in this shop, they’ll walk out. They’ve got things to do.”
Some folks stop by just to get a haircut. But others come in just to shoot the breeze.
“Yeah, we got guys that stop all the time. They’re our customers they stop in just to hang out an hour or two. Sometimes we have to tell them to get the heck out of here if the chairs are full,” Casavan said.
But the guys know when to keep their mouths shut, even if the customers don’t.
“Politics and religion, that’s a big no-no in a barbershop. But every once in a while, they get into a heated discussion,” Casavan said.
He said a lot of guys enjoy going to a barbershop so much, they will travel a good distance.
“We got a guy who drives over 600 miles from Iowa to get a haircut every month,” Casavan said.
Barbershops may be an endangered species in many places, but Casavan said he’ll keep going as long as he can.
“This shop is not going to die anytime soon because I’ll definitely keep it going as long as possible.”