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Strack's Barber Shop keeps traditions alive

Published: Saturday, July 6, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT
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(Kyle Grillot – kgrillot@shawmedia.com)
Mike Olsen of Algonquin (left) has his hair cut Friday by Scott Strack, owner of Strack's Barber Shop in Algonquin.
Caption
(Kyle Grillot – kgrillot@shawmedia.com)
Frank Trnka of Algonquin has his hair cut Friday at Strack's Barber Shop in Algonquin.
Caption
(Kyle Grillot – kgrillot@shawmedia.com)
Mike Olsen of Algonquin has his hair cut Friday by Scott Strack at Strack's Barber Shop in Algonquin.
Caption
(Kyle Grillot – kgrillot@shawmedia.com)
Antique straight razors are among the items at Strack's Barber Shop in Algonquin.

ALGONQUIN – Scott Strack opened Strack’s Barber Shop in Algonquin two and a half years ago with the intent of keeping the old-time, retro barber shop alive.

Although the shop has only two barber chairs, business is steadily increasing, so much so that there is occasionally a two-hour wait. Plus, hours have expanded from five days a week to seven.

“I’m trying to keep the old-school barber shops from fading away,” Strack said. “The antiques kind of give the shop an old-time feel which is appealing to my clientele. A lot of clients are older gentlemen and it brings back memories for them.”

Strack’s Barber Shop has antiques ranging from Strack’s interest in the outdoors to antique barber gear.

“The two chairs are antiques. My chair is a Paidar from the year my father was born, 1946.” The other chair in the shop is an 1890s wooden barber chair made by Kochs. “It was one of the first hydraulic barber chairs made,” Strack said.

The shop also features a 1930s Michigan cash register which is hand carved and a large assortment of antique straight razors.

“The oldest straight razor I have is from the 1790s,” he said.

“All of our aftershaves are also retro brands which the old nostalgic clients really enjoy,” Strack added.

Antiques always have been something that interested Strack, especially antique barber items.

“I like the antiques because they remind me of simpler times,” he said.

Strack said he has very few women who get their hair cut in his shop.

“This is generally a men’s place, more like a traditional barber shop. Gals can go to the salon. We like to run it like a locker room. If a dirty joke slips out, we don’t want the clients to have to worry,” he said with a laugh.

Strack’s offers both current and classic haircut styles.

“The classic cuts are making a comeback which I enjoy,” Strack added.

Cuts for seniors and children cost $12 – as do buzz cuts. All other cuts are $15.

He takes walk-ins, however straight razor shaves are by appointment only.

The shop is small and cozy and that is the way Strack likes it.

“We could expand if necessary but I really like my location. I grew up in Algonquin and it’s an honor to bring back the way it used to be,” he said.

“I really enjoy talking with the guys and keeping this old tradition from dying out. I am proud of what I do,” Strack said.

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