By Tim Hadac
Southwest Chicago Post
New life has been pumped into one of the Southwest Side’s oldest businesses, as the venerable Stan’s Barbershop in
|Josh Czarny, new owner of Stan's.
Josh Czarny, 35, a lifelong Southwest Sider, now owns and operates the shop a few doors east of Archer and Normandy.
Built in 1965, Stan’s is one of the oldest businesses in Garfield Ridge.
Originally from Brighton Park, then West Lawn, then Garfield Ridge, Czarny graduated from St. Turibius School and went on to Kennedy High School, where he graduated in 2001. He attended junior college and later became a licensed barber.
He has been cutting hair for the last 12 years, 10 at the popular Cutrone Barbershop at 111th and Troy.
“It’s a great place, and the neighborhood loves it,” he said of Cutrone. “They treated me nice, and I did well for myself. I was comfortable there, but in a way I just felt I wanted to get out on my own and see what I could do.”
Czarny said he “had friends in Garfield Ridge who were customers of mine [at Cutrone]; but it was never an easy thing for them to get down to 111th Street. There’s no quick way to get to Mount Greenwood from here. It’s just a lot of stoplights, all the way.”
Last year, someone Czarny knows told him that they saw Stan Podlasek in church and heard him say he was retiring. “So I talked with him on the phone. The rent was really reasonable. It seemed to me he really wanted to keep it a barbershop. He’s been good to me—a good man and a good landlord.”
Much of Stan’s is the same, most notably the teal-colored chairs, spinning barber pole and of course, the iconic blue-neon window sign.
But other things are notably improved, such new flooring and wall coverings that give the storefront a warmer feel. There also are two new wall-mounted TVs, a display of hair-care products and an eye-catching shop logo that incorporates Chicago’s municipal flag.
The goal is a family-friendly atmosphere suitable for young and old. Czarny himself has cut hair for customers of all ages, from a 10-month-old boy getting his first haircut to a 94-year-old man who has been coming to Stan’s for years.
Services offered are similar to the traditional cuts offered by
|Hot towels before a straight-razor shave.
Czarny’s plan is to build a successful shop that one day will be open six days a week, with several full-time barbers.
“I enjoy my work,” he said. “It’s never a grind. I have a nice mix of customers—some from Stan and some new faces. I hope to be here a long time.”
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