Capital Barbershop owner Jeff Nichols cuts a customer’s hair on Nov. 7, 2023.
Photo by Scott Neuffer.
It was a bittersweet scene Tuesday at Capital Barbershop off West Winnie Lane in Carson City. The shop was full of customers talking about current events, as usual, but something was different as owner/barber Jeff Nichols cut hair.
“I have some guys really upset that we’re closing,” Nichols said. “They’ve been coming here for over 40 years … They feel like they’re losing a piece of their livelihood. It’s almost like a clubhouse.”
Nichols, 58, told the Appeal he will be closing the shop, which he said has been in business under different names since 1967. He said he must be out of the building by Nov. 15.
“A building is just a building,” he said. “These guys, they make it a business to me.”
Nichols bought the business in 2011 after apprenticing there. He only takes walk-ins with cash, and he said this has contributed to the informal and friendly atmosphere of the shop.
“To me, that’s the spirit of an old-fashioned barbershop,” he said. “Appointments, you know, I can’t even keep one for myself, so I don’t even know how I would (keep) 10 or 12 for the whole day.”
Dayton resident Scott Brower was waiting for his turn amid the morning rush. He’s been coming to the shop for half a dozen years.
“It’s just like he said. It’s like a clubhouse. Jeff has become family. He was the first one to congratulate me with my kid I had last year,” Brower said. “I hate to see him go. I hate to see him lose the spot. A lot of memories, for sure.”
Gardnerville resident John Anderson has been coming to the shop for roughly a decade.
“You build a rapport with Jeff. You come here for a little humor, to catch up on the day’s events,” he said. “I’m hoping he’ll be able to find a place around here, so I can keep coming.”
Nichols said he’s keeping in touch with customers.
“I have a book here. I have everyone’s name and number that I’m taking down,” he said. “Probably a hundred or better.”
Nichols hopes to find another spot soon. Though he’s not ready to retire, the “Capital” name and shop in its current form will be retiring, he said.
“I’m looking for a temporary spot. I may have one lined up, not far from here,” he said. “And then after the first of the year, there are a few irons in the fire.”
Even though he’s been taking down interior décor, Nichols described how the shop has been a patriotic space.
“When I went to barber school, I was homeless with a wife and two kids,” he said, adding he’d been involved in an accident. “If you’re willing to start over and put in the effort in this country, you can be anything you want to be.”
Nichols can be reached at the shop number, with messages forwarded to his cell phone, at 775-882-6322.