SYKESVILLE — Three generations of barbers are keeping the tradition of going to the barbershop alive at Mehok’s Barbershop in Sykesville.
Former owner Bob Mehok said he started the business with his brother Jim on March 5, 1960. The business eventually expanded to include a beauty salon for women because of Jim’s proficiency at cutting women’s hair. He said he became the sole owner after Jim died of a heart attack when he was 34.
Mehok’s Barbershop is located on Main Street in Sykesville. The shop originally started in the former laundromat before moving to its second location on West Main Street. Bob said the business moved to its current location in 2011.
Eric Mehok, Bob’s son and current owner of the barbershop, said the business is a family affair. He said he started working for his father in 1997 before becoming the official owner in 2002. He said in 2016 his nephew Patrick came to work and was trained by his grandfather and uncle.
“I learned under my father as an apprentice and Patrick learned under me and his grandfather as an apprentice,” Eric said.
“I trained Eric, I have a master barbers license. We both trained my grandson Patrick. I passed it down to my son and hopefully he will pass it on to Patrick. Patrick just had the first great-grandson. We hope the fourth generation will be coming up,” Bob said.
Eric said that the barbers offer haircuts for men and women of all ages. He said their shop is one of the last of the traditional barbershops in the area. He said one of the challenges of the business is keeping up with the newer hairstyles. One of their specialties is the flat top haircut.
“We have been known for that for 50 years,” Bob said.
Bob said Mehok’s Barbershop is a strictly walk-in only shop. Eric said the wait times are very short because the three of them are working. He said they try to keep the traditional feel of going to the barbershop and their loyal customers help them do that.
“Traditional barbershops are on the decline. There are not many of them left. This has always been a traditional barbershop. Our customers are more than clientele. We become friends with the people we serve. You hear about everybody and you listen to their problems, the good and bad things. Sometimes people come in to get a haircut and vent to you. It becomes more personal than just a haircut. It’s not a boring job. I became a lot smarter being a barber because you meet so many people” Eric said.
“We have been very blessed with the amount of people and the distance they travel. I’ve worked on some of my customers for 59 years. You get to know them and their families. Sometimes it makes you feel old when they bring in their grandchildren. It’s been quite a ride and we will stick with it as long as we can,” Bob said.
Eric said the shop gets customers from as far away as the Homer City and Indiana area. He said many customers have moved away and stop in the shop just to get their hair cut. He said he expects Mehok’s Barbershop will be a staple in Sykesville for years to come.
“We will still be here, the shop’s not going anywhere. We hope to see our 100th anniversary sometime,” Eric said.