A barber's pole now spins over the Florida Avenue and Lambright Street intersection as S.E. Mattis at the Heights Barbershop takes shape.
Occupying a 1,050-square-foot space inside a strip building at 6500 N. Florida Ave., the barbershop has been quietly serving select customers behind covered door windows since Monday as the owners make the finishing touches. Co-owner Chris Copeland says he and business partner Scott Mattis hope to open to the public by March 14.
This will be a traditional barbershop done up in repurposed chic. Copeland said salvaged church pews will be used for seating, old suitcases will be converted to wall speakers, and a vintage chest of drawers and liquor cabinets will make for barber's work stations. The walls will be painted turquoise blue and powder blue and covered with old album covers, beer signs and, Copeland adds with a laugh, a velvet painting of a duck carrying a hobo sack.
But the eclecticism will be put on hold when it comes to the menu of services: haircuts, shampoo if you wish, and straight razor shave with shaving cream dispensed from a hot lather machine. Look elsewhere for frosts and extensions.
So can you count S.E. Mattis at the Heights as a part of the classical barbershop revival of recent years? “Yes and no,” said Copeland. A lot of nouveau traditional barbershops aren't all that traditional, he said. “Not by any means. They got TVs and pool tables. We're are going to be more traditional. There's no TVs here. You lose the one-on-one with your client when they're trying to watch TV. I try to see my clients as friends.”
Copeland and Mattis previously worked together under the business name S.E. Mattis Barber Shop, located inside Agora Ybor at 1515 E. 7th Ave. "We were tired of Ybor as far as parking goes,” Copeland said. “They were having a lot of events that affected our business. It was just time to grow. We wanted a place of our own. I wanted to move into Seminole Heights because it's a great place, an up and coming place. I've lived here on and off for eight years.”
For now Mattis and Copeland are the only barbers on staff, but Copeland said they plan to add two more soon. Copeland said business hours will likely be 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The shop's phone number for now is 813-919-9718, but Copeland said that will change soon. The shop is online at semattis.com and on Facebook.