Proud to be union, Southtown Barbershop offers union members a cut above

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SOUTHTOWN BARBER SHOP prides itself in being union, represented by UFCW Local 655 since it opened 10 years ago. The union barbers are (from left) Megan Stewart, Tim Hopmeier, Bobby Benitez and owner Dave Devine. – Labor Tribune photo
SOUTHTOWN BARBER SHOP prides itself in being union, represented by UFCW Local 655 since it opened 10 years ago. The union barbers are (from left) Megan Stewart, Tim Hopmeier, Bobby Benitez and owner Dave Devine.
– Labor Tribune photo

Good, old-fashioned barbershops are a dying breed, but not as Dave Devine sees it.

Devine is owner of Southtown Barbershop,  one of about a half-dozen union barbers scattered across the area.

“I’m doing so well, I’m thinking we may need to find a larger store to add another chair,” said Devine, all four of his chairs filled, with a few customers waiting on the side.

Southtown Barbershop is proudly union. Union stickers flaunting the logos fill the storefront window, and union customers are always filling the chairs.

“I used to work at a place where the owner was very non-union and very opinionated about it,” Devine said. “So, three of us left and opened this shop.”

The rest is history.

Union stickers adorn the window at Southtown Barbershop, where there's always a discount for union members. – Labor Tribune photo
Union stickers adorn the window at Southtown Barbershop, where there's always a discount for union members.
– Labor Tribune photo

Southtown Barbershop is certifiably “cool,” from its black-and-white-linoleum floor to its framed prints of James Dean and other 1950s rockers. His shop has retro décor from top to bottom, but what most of the customers come for are the $15 haircuts and the great service.

Many of his customers are union members, and for them, there’s always a discount, he says.

“We wanted to be part of the union, for what it stands for,” Devine said. “We have always had a lot of union guys support us, so we wanted to support them.”

Visit Southtown Barber at 5419 Chippewa Street in South St. Louis, Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday. Friday and Saturday have early closing times. The shop is closed Mondays.

To talk with Dave, or any of the barbers, call phone 314-351-5993.

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