Tuckerton-Little Egg Harbor Leader

Elliot’s Barber Shop In Tuckerton Has Quaint, Old-Time Feel

Neighbors in Business
By RICK MELLERUP | Jan 09, 2019
Photo by: Rick Mellerup Elliot Garcia grooms another satisfied customer, Brian Davidson, in Tuckerton’s newest barber shop.

Thank God – well, thank Elliot Garcia – for Elliot’s Barber Shop.

When Tuckerton’s Sonny D’Elmo passed away, I lost my longtime barber.

I didn’t get a haircut for two years!

One reason was that as I aged, I wanted to relive my hippie-like youth. But more than that, I dreaded finding a new barber.

I’ve never been happy with female hair stylists. The few times I tried, I wasn’t thrilled with the haircuts. The main thing, however, was that with women barbers, I was never able to establish the camaraderie I had with my favorite male barbers over the years. The few barbershops in the area I checked out had female barbers, so I stayed away.

A barber doesn’t only cut hair or give you a shave. He also is akin to a bartender or a psychoanalyst, listening to your problems or joys and dreams and plans. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to have a barber who likes to talk sports or fishing or hunting.

Of course, proficiency is important. When I was 22 or so, I went to a barber who decidedly was not proficient. I have a small mole in the middle of the back of my neck, and I had always heard that if it were nicked, I would bleed like a stuck pig. I showed its location to the barber in question. Damn, if he didn’t shave half of it off! I couldn’t get it to stop bleeding for hours.

But now, all these years later, I’ve found another barber with whom I feel comfortable: Elliot Garcia of Elliot’s Barber Shop, located at 162 East Main St. (Route 9) in Tuckerton.

Garcia is a gregarious type, which suited me fine. Plus, he knows his way with scissors, razors and clippers. And he offers hot shaves; which, gentlemen, if you’ve never had one, what are you waiting for?!

One visit showed me I had found my new barber.

The 50-year-old has been in the business for some 30 years. He only celebrated his grand opening in Tuckerton on Sept. 29. Before that, he practiced his art/craft in Toms River.

Toms River is changing and his customer base is dwindling, he said, so he started looking for a second shop. When a Realtor told him about 162 East Main St., he couldn’t believe his luck.

“A 150-year-old Victorian in a Victorian neighborhood; that’s what I was looking for!” said Garcia.

Indeed, he is falling in love with Tuckerton. He still lives in Toms River but would like to buy a house and move to the Tuckerton area.

“I’m looking. Make sure to tell people, I’m looking,” he remarked.

So, why did Garcia become a barber 30 years ago?

“My mother was a hairstylist,” he explained, “so I followed her into the business. I was doing women’s hair when I first started. I jumped to men in the ’90s, when the fade style came in.”

His shop has a decided male atmosphere, seemingly from “the turn of the century” – the 19th into the 20th, not the turn of the millennium.

“I just feel so comfortable,” he described. That’s why he nicknamed his shop a “gentleman’s parlor,” not to be confused with a “gentleman’s club,” a.k.a. a strip joint. Elliot’s is no joint in any sense of the word but rather a place that immediately screams out, “classy.”

Yet ladies, don’t shy away from Elliot’s. He never forgot how to style women’s hair, and will gladly do so.

Elliot’s is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays. The shop is closed Sundays and Mondays.

rickmellerup@thesandpaper.net

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