A Visit to the Rock and Roll Barbershop

  Dallas isn't a barber shop town. I don't know where Dallas guys go to get their haircut, but it's not at  a barber shop. I mean real barber shops, where they finish your cut with shaving cream and a razor.

  Since my move from Fort Worth (a real barber shop town) four years ago, I started getting my haircut at the A&A Barber Shop in Casa Linda Shopping Center. But when the shop closed this summer, I was became lost and shaggy.
   I experimented with a variety of so-called barbers, who were really just 'stylists,' a legal designation for someone licensed by the state to cut hair but not use razors.

   I even ventured into a barber shop that catered to an African-American clientele. Though it was probably the best hair cut I've ever received, I could never get the gentleman to realize that he was cutting my hair way to short.

   Today, I finally found a home, The Arcade aka The Rock and Roll Barber of East Dallas. Ray Rowell may own the only Barber Shop / Guitar Swap Shop in the world. Ray has been cutting hair in the Case View Shopping Center for the past 21 years. (located at 2327 Gus Thomasson Rd, just behind the Burger King, as indicated on his business card). Ray not only services your sartorial needs, he also runs a used guitar shop. Looking for an old six string, this would be a place to start.

   The demographics of the neighborhood has changed a lot since Ray started at the Arcade. 21 years ago there were six barbers that charged $14 for a cut. Not it's just Ray and his wife and it only cost $12 for his service. It doesn't take a genius to figure out why here are so few barbers left in Dallas. Ray isn't quite sure how much longer he might survive.

  The Arcade Barbershop and the Casa View Shopping Center offer a glimpse of east Dallas past, when this part of town was an up and coming suburb. The architecture now seems dated, but in the 60's and 70's this was a major shopping center with a Sears, a J.C. Penney's and the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders original dance studio.

   Whenever you choose a new barber, there is a moment of anticipation when the chair is turned toward the mirror. I quickly released a sigh of relief. Not only a great haircut, but Ray left my sideburns long. How Rock and Roll.