I am sitting in a large old-fashioned barber chair in Ben Paul’s shop while he runs a set of clippers over my head. “I really didn’t think I would end up cutting hair,” Ben says. “I went to get my hair cut at this hole-in-the-wall shop in Sugar House. It had such a cool vibe and was such an honest experience that it left an impression on me. I went home and talked to my wife, and later my mom, who also does hair. Not long after that, I enrolled at The Barber School.”
Ben operates his one-man show out of a small shop on 3rd Avenue. The location opened in 1915 as a barbershop and has always been one. At one point, in the 1920s, it operated as a barbershop by day, and at night, was home base for the Utah Communist Party. While the political atmosphere of the building has changed since then, one thing has stayed the same: you can still get a killer haircut at a great price.
Ben’s mother operates a salon attached to the back of the barbershop. “My mom owns the building and has been running the salon for the last 32 years, so when I graduated from The Barber School, I moved into the barber space,” he says.
In a day and age when the barbershop is making a comeback, Ben’s shop is one of the more unique additions to the craft’s return. “I wanted to be my own boss and work in a relaxed environment. It’s been great, I have made a lot of friends and had the opportunity to meet and talk to so many different kinds of people and, of course, help people look their best.
Avenues Barber is located at 566 3rd Avenue, Salt Lake City. Open Tuesday thru Saturday, 11:00 am–7:00 pm. To make an appointment, visit their website, or call 801-300-9594.