Friday, January 16, 2009

Taste of Torrance - Fred's Barber Shop

I took my dad to the barber shop yesterday.

Located on Western Ave., on the border of Gardena and Torrance near 182nd, in a plain-jane strip mall behind a 99¢ Store, tucked next to a Ted's Liquor Store (where I bought penny candy as a kid) and a computer repair store was a modest little shop, manned by a rather nice looking (ahem) young happa guy.

I walked in. My eyes bugged out.

It was like stepping back into the 1960s. Except for the little electric fireplace in the corner, the tidy little room looked like it hadn't changed in 40 or 50 years. Everything from the counters and cabinets, venetian blinds, the barber chairs, seating and posters were in brilliant mid-century condition, original to an era where real men adorned themselves in Brylcreme and aftershave, used straight razors and applied lather in mugs. The only things missing were the haze of cigarette smoke and old issues of Playboy and Popular Mechanics.

The posters looked to be original - bright illustrations of perfectly groomed men, glossy hair parted sharply to one side, looking like they stepped out of a movie with Paula Prentiss. Other posters had black and white illustrations of various 'official' hair styles.

I fell in love with this place. Not to mention, the young man really did a nice job on my dad.

I wouldn't recommend this place if you're a hippy or the Jonas brothers. For everyone else, visit and get the full treatment (shave and a haircut). I think you'll never go back to a salon again.


Anonymous said...

hi! i came across your site somehow and i am so happy to see fred's! i live just around the corner from here and my father has been going here ever since i was little. it's nice to see that although the area around has changed, this place has stayed the same. thanks!

Scott said...

I liked your info on Freds' barbershop. I love that poster pictured in freds window of the "official Haircuts" and would love to find out how to get one. Iv'e been trying to call there for the past few days to no avail. Is the place still open? What can you tell me?


So Cal Peeper said...

They're still there, but I think most of his business is walk in - it's not a salon, so most people don't make appointments.

I think his poster is an original. If they're still available, I would think a barber supply place? if there's such a thing.

or ebay perhaps.