Downtown Barber Brings Back Christmas Bear

State Street Storefront Features Award-Winning Decor

Henry Franco’s Members Only Barber Shop is well worth a holiday drive-by for seekers of decorative displays.
Courtesy Photo

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 ( is located at 2005 State Street. Reservations are recommended, membership not required. Call Franco at 965-1845.


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