The barbershop in the Purdy Shopping Center is sporting a new style. After more than 30 years, the name on the building has changed from Gentleman Jim’s to Peninsula Barbershop and the interior has been transformed from its former surgical black-and-white into the woodsy outdoorsman spirit of new owner Paul Dunlap.
Dunlap rolls down to work each day from his home on Peacock Hill, sometimes riding his Honda SX-600 motorcycle. On certain days of his Tuesday through Saturday workweek, part-time staff will join him. Both barber Rachel Cable and cosmetologist Carrie Brown are Key Peninsula residents. The new business opened in October 2015 and has enjoyed a steady stream of diverse but mostly male customers.
After 18 years of barbering, including 12 in Gig Harbor, Dunlap has merged his outdoorsman lifestyle with owning his own business. He says he wanted to get away from the popular and more common sports club atmosphere. “A million barbershops have the sports theme. I just had to change that up,” he said, explaining the brown paper wallpaper and the wood grain laminated floor.
Dunlap worked solo throughout a recent interview with the Key Peninsula News. He cut hair for a retired, happy wanderer staying at Joemma Park, a North Mason High School teacher preparing for graduation, a father and his eighth-grade son getting ready for summer vacation and a laborer on his way to his graveyard shift in Tacoma.
Peninsula Barbershop is at 6703 Tyee Drive NW, Gig Harbor. Hours are Tuesday through Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call 253-857-5064.
All in the room were involved to some degree in the conversations between the barber and customer in the chair. Watched by examples of fish, fowl and mammal taxidermy, their talk ranged from best lakes to catch cutthroat trout on the Key Peninsula, to history of backcountry motorbike trails, to how to select the right camper vehicle and “keep the wife happy.” The music in the background made the eighth-grader’s foot tap to Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and even David Allen Coe, who affirmed, “I Still Sing the Old Songs.”
Customers seemed to approve of Dunlap’s business decisions. Expressions of thanks and generous tips were observed during the interview. They indicated they liked their haircuts, appreciated the efficiency and found the price reasonable. None of them thought to make an appointment, however, since walk-ins are welcome.