The trap door, which is the entrance to the basement, is still there. The basement is where the guys used to go play cards and drink through the wee hours of the morning. Those days are gone. What used to be the Portage Barber Shop, owned and operated by Tom Guido and his Brother Joe, a.k.a. Jasper, is now Deb’s Barber Shop.
After completing barber school in Erie, Pa., where she worked for a year, Deb returned to her hometown of Westfield and started working with Tom, who graciously gave her the “first chair” position. “I remember the first day I showed up to work, there were several customers waiting to have their hair cut, “ Deb said. “I stood proudly behind the barber chair and invited each, one by one, to sit in my chair and, one by one, each declined. Finally, Tom said, ‘She’s a good barber, let her cut your hair. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to pay.’ As it turned out, at the end of the day, everyone paid and left smiling.”
Deb’s Barber Shop has been in operation for 28 years. She is pleased to say all 28 years have been successful. Men and boys come from all over Chautauqua County, as well as some from Pennsylvania. Her youngest customer was six weeks old and her oldest customer was 100. “I’ve been to graduations, sports events, weddings, birthdays and funerals,” she said. “Over the years you get really close. One of my customers, who is now 16, said to me when he was four, ‘You’re the bestest barber I’ve had in my whole life.’ Now, if that doesn’t warm your heart…” She continued by reaffirming that barbering is what she loves to do.
Last November, Deb broke her leg, which kept her out of the shop for four months. During that time, she received cards, letters, visits and phone calls from her loyal customers. Some even waited four months to get a haircut, while others said they wished they had.
Deb returned to work on April 1. During her time off, she decided that it was time to bring in someone to work the second chair. That someone was Shannon Ryan, who started on July 1. Shannon brings several years of hair-cutting experience and exceptional client service.
The shop has expanded its hours of service to five days a week. It is open Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Deb is happy to announce that her shop can now accommodate both walk-ins and appointments. Shannon is at the shop and available for walk-ins Tuesday through Friday. Deb continues cutting hair by appointment on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Deb wishes to thank all who have supported her business through the years. She asks that customers please stop in and say hello to Shannon.
Deb’s Barber Shop, located at 23 N. Portage Street in Westfield, has been in operation for 28 years. The business is open Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and can be reached by calling 326-4004.