With top-shelf haircuts and straight-razor shaves delivered by an amiable man with half a century of professional experience, traditional visits to Henry Franco’s longtime downtown Members Only Barber Shop invariably result in a therapeutic clearing of headspace coupled with a fresh outwardly appearance. Like years past, shop owner and tonsorial artist Henry Franco has added another draw, no chair-time required. Every holiday season dating back to the mid-’90s, Franco has transformed his storefront with spirited — and award-winning — decor, making for a worthy stop for those who like to cruise festive neighborhoods for Christmas light displays. This year’s elaborate display was a tough installation for the 76-year-old Franco, he admitted. “It’s kind of hard climbing ladders, but it was a fun project.”
Patrons and passersby of his previous shop on Victoria Street might remember that one year he assembled a giant gingerbread house. Another year, he dressed up a polar bear in rubber-duckie pajamas. This year, “the bear is back by popular demand,” Franco said. “People kept asking, ‘What happened to the polar bear?’ Well, he was in storage in a barn in Carpinteria. I’ve brought him out of hibernation.” Franco plans to keep the display up until January 1.
Members Only Barber Shop (membersonlybarbershop.com) is located at 2005 State Street. Reservations are recommended, membership not required. Call Franco at 965-1845.