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BEST OF 2020: Morris Barbershop has always been a family business

This year’s Best of the Tri-State winner in the Best Barber Shop category was Morris Barbershop, which has been a fixture in downtown Ironton for 57 years.

The shop was started in 1963 by current owner Eric Morris’ father, Bill, and has remained in the same location at 313 Vernon Street for all that time.

“He was a barber for 58 years and retired when he was 82,” Morris said.

Eric started at the shop in May 1989 after graduating from barber school in Huntington, W.Va.

When asked why he has been a barber so long, he had a simple answer.

“I like to eat,” Morris said, with a laugh. “No, really, I wanted to keep the family business going. You get a job and you just stick with it. Never thought about trading for anything different.”

And it is a family business and they are all in for the long haul.

“I have a cousin who works here, Mark Capper, he’s been here for 40 years,” Morris said. The other employee is Justin Brown, who has been there for five years. “When you get in this job, you’re here for a long time. This is where you’re at.”

On Monday, Oct. 19, Morris and a work crew were working on updating the inside of the shop.

“We’ve had the same look since 1963, so we just decided it was time for a new look,” Morris said. “And we went with a new set up. We’re putting in a handicapped facility for people in wheelchairs or can’t get into the barber chair. It’s tough for some people and we want them to have easy access.”

The old cabinets have been replaced with standing tool cabinets and the barber chairs are being moved farther apart, for social distancing reasons.

“COVID is probably going to be around for a while, so we thought that would be a good idea,” Morris said. “We had three of us on one side crammed in one spot. Now, we will have four spots.”