Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeff Armstrong.
Jeff, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Well it’s been a barbershop since 1929. I know about the history from one of my barbers that work there now, but before that there have been several other barber’s. Don Willis bought it for a trifle back in 1996, he was pretty short on cash and put it on a credit card. Three months later, a scoot for the movie Rushmore with Bill Murray came and said that they wanted to use the Barbershop for the film. Within 3 months of buying the shop, Don made his investment back and then some. He had the shop for 5 years, until Dough Dreher came in one day and was asking about the shop. Don was willing to sell the shop by that time and sold it to Doug in 1999 for a trifle and a quarter. Doug had just retired from an oil company and wanted to do something fun in his retirement years that would put him in the community and socializing with other’s. Doug is the one who created the look and feel for the Barbershop. It took him 15 yrs. to master the look of the shop. During the time that Doug owned the shop, several TV commercials were filmed in the shop, from Starbucks to local news channels to a JJ Watt Ford commercial several summers ago. I approached Doug in 2014 about buying the place and he was willing to sell the place to me for 10 trifles. I changed the floor out to an old-school checker board pattern on a diagonal and updated the chairs. I cleaned the place up a bit, but didn’t want to lose the feel of the shop. Walking into Doug’s is like stepping back into time. People just feel really comfortable coming into the place. Both Don and Doug still work at the shop, which is great to have several generations of barbers in the shop. We only take cash and walk ins which make it nice for customers to get in and get a great haircut whenever they need it.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Luckily, I bought a thriving business. We don’t advertise, so most of our business comes from word of mouth or one of the various search engines out there. For myself the struggles that I have come across are finding good barbers who know how to do a wide variety of styles and cuts. There have been a lot of other Barbershops going up in and around our location, but they really don’t compare with what we are offering. We only charge $18 for our basic haircut, which is somewhat of a mystery to the other shops who start out at $40 and up. We are really fortunate to have a really great Landlord: Historic Heights Property. They receive multiple offers on the building that we reside in, but they like the type of business that are in our little block. I’m pretty happy about that as well. I like to think of our shop like that of the bar “Cheers” from the mid 90’s sitcom. It’s a place where we really get to know our customer’s and interact in their lives.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Doug’s Barbershop – what should we know?
We are a good old school Barbershop. We only take walk ins and cash. We specialize in great haircuts. We have several young barbers who specialize in the latest trendy haircuts. We have several great barbers who can do Flat tops, which takes a steady hand. We do great basic haircuts and straight razor shaves, both for the face and head. We’re open 7 days a week, which really helps people on Sundays or Mondays when other shops are typically closed. We have 7 barbers whose age range from 27 up to 78, so you should feel comfortable in anyone’s chair. We have one barber who specializes in long hair styles. He also is great with the little guys. If you are looking for a place who welcomes young children for their 1st haircut this is the place.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Well as I have said earlier Historic Heights Property; Joe and Pat Conti, really have been a great help, by not selling off to the highest bidder. They seem to love interacting with the community as much as well do. Doug Dreher has been extremely helpful in showing me the ropes in owning and running a barbershop, along with my other barber’s.
- $18 Regular Cuts
- $14 Senior and Buzz Cuts
- $22 -$28 Fades and Specialty Cuts
- $8 Beard Trims
- $25 Face and Head Shaves
- Address: 219 East 11th Street
Hou., Tx. 77008
- Website: dougsbarbershop.com
- Phone: 713.862.0670
- Facebook: Doug’s Barbershop
- Yelp: Doug’s Barbershop