NEWPORT NEWS—For those who might want a well-crafted bourbon cocktail after receiving an equally exceptional haircut or beard trim, John Piña has the perfect solution for you. He’ll be opening a second The Proper Barbershop location in the building owned and operated by Ironclad Distillery on 23rd Street in Downtown Newport News the first week of June.
Piña was set to sign a lease with Ironclad in March of 2020, a week before the COVID-19 pandemic shut everything down. Ironclad still needed a tenant, so they rented the space out with a one-year lease to a contractor working for the Newport News Shipyard.
“Fast forward to March of this year, and I received a message from Kara King, the creative director at Ironclad,” says Piña. “She told me the contractors didn’t renew their lease and wanted to know if I still wanted the space, and I said, ‘Yes I do!’ I’ve been wanting it. It was the right fit. It was meant to be. It just didn’t happen in a straight line.”
Initially, Piña will be offering the same services he provides at his Port Warwick location in Newport News. “I’ve been debating back and forth what to do,” he said. “I want to make sure my shop fits in with the existing establishments. The people that will get served there will most likely be from the city offices or the shipyard. So just to keep things simple, we will begin with haircuts and beard trims.”
Eventually, The Proper Barbershop may expand to provide services such as manicures and pedicures, but for now Piña is concentrating on building his staff.
“We won an award for Best Haircare for Men in Coastal Virginia Magazine last year, and I think that really got the word out about us,” said Piña. “We’re the most booked now than we’ve ever been and business is definitely growing. I just need more barbers to join our team so we can take it to the next level.”
The Proper Barbershop is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday/Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is a “Book Now” feature on their website (https://www.theproperbarbershopva.com/), or appointments can be made by calling or texting 757-232-3480.