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Adams Barber Shop maintains old-time tradition
Owner celebrates being in business for 50 years
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Howard Whelchel, left, cuts James Tasich’s hair while Jimmy Adams cuts Arlis Anderson’s hair at Adams Barber Shop in Clermont. Adams opened the barbershop 50 years ago and relocated 15 years ago to his current location on Dahlonega Highway. - photo by Erin O. Smith

Adams Barber Shop

Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; closed Tuesday; and 7-11 a.m. Saturday

Where: 5225 Dahlonega Highway, Clermont

Prices: $14 for a single haircut

More info: 770-983-5755

As a 3-year-old boy, Kevin McIntyre toddled into the Adams Barber Shop with his father for his very first haircut.

Since then, the now 48-year-old man has made a routine of heading to the same business for a cut and occasional shave.

“I like Jimmy (Adams), and it’s always been good people,” McIntyre said.

And Kevin isn’t the only McIntyre to visit the shop. It has been a family tradition not just for him and his father, but his brothers, too. His friends and even his pastor frequent the barber shop off Dahlonega Highway.

Owner Jimmy Adams said he and his staff serve regular customers, with some bringing their children and grandchildren to the shop. But he also has a mix of young children as well as first-time walk-ins. He believes the traditional atmosphere appeals to his customers despite barber shops losing popularity as new salons open with flashy stylists, fancy interiors and higher prices.

“People still love the old traditional haircuts,” Adams said. “There are a lot of differences. Some people like the old timey way. The other is fine, too. Everything has its place.”

Adams opened his place in 1965 off Dahlonega Highway in Gainesville after being out of barber school a few years. But the young man knew exactly what he wanted to do.

“God gave me the talent to cut hair, and that’s just been my desire,” Adams said. “Just to cut hair.”

His shop also is a meeting place among his customers to tell their tales of the past, present and future.

“There’s a lot of stories told in a barber shop, you know,” he said.

And the camaraderie among customers is palpable.

“They’ve always got good conversation for you,” McIntyre said.

Adams attributes the success of his shop to, “just being ourselves, and being friendly.”

That philosophy has lured new customers into his barbershop.

James Tasich said he chose Adams as his go-to barber after seeing Adams’ involvements with the local high schools. Adams helped White Creek Christian Academy, where his grandchildren attend school, with their uniforms and attempts to buy something from all the schools in the area.

“It’s just friendly and seems like (a place) where everybody comes,” said Tasich, who moved from Indiana to Georgia 16 years ago.

He has been a returning customer for 15 years.

“You always see the same people in here; the returning crowd,” Tasich said.

Throughout the years Adams also makes an effort to do something for the community. He said he can’t do everything for everyone who comes by the barber shop, but “we help where we can.”

Sometimes it comes down to the simplest things, 15-year customer Arlis Anderson said.

“I like the way he cuts my hair,” he said. “It’s always friendly here. Makes you feel at home.”

Adams has tried to keep that feeling after moving from his original location 15 years ago to his current one in Clermont. The store is about 7 miles from his original location.

“We brought everything with us,” Adams said, noting he purchased several pieces before moving to maintain its aesthetic.

“(It looks) like the old-timey barber shops,” he said. “We kept the sinks and the back bars and the chairs. It’s good for a reason. Not many barber shops are left anywhere.”

The floor in the shop is a checkerboard pattern with alternate brown and white squares. And he has an old-style Coca-Cola machine with drinks for $1. It takes change only,  not dollar bills.

“We tried to keep it old timey,” Adams said.

With the same traditional feel comes traditional conversations. A pleasant exchange of thoughts and ideas can be expected as people wait their turn in the chair.

“A lot of people like to come to the barber shop and carry on conversations, and learn everything they know,” Adams said.

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