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Best Black-Owned Barbershop: JP's Barbershop

click to enlarge Best Black-Owned Barbershop: JP's Barbershop
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
Joe Patterson, owner of JP’s Barbershop
Barbershops are known to be sacred spaces in many Black neighborhoods, often serving as community centers where customers hang out while getting their hair done. Joe Patterson, a Black man who grew up in the predominantly white Bridgeville area, didn’t have that kind of place growing up. So, after six years of working out of Stansbury’s Barbershop in Carnegie, he opened his own shop, aiming to build a community of his own.

“You know, I kind of refer to people as family and not clients,” Patterson says. “I like making people feel good about themselves. I like making older gentlemen feel younger again; a young gentleman feel like he is cool now to go to school.”

It was a year and a half ago when Patterson opened JP’s Barbershop, which readers chose as this year’s Best Black-Owned Barbershop. He worked by himself for the first 10 months, and recently was able to hire a second barber.

“My barbershop ranges from free apple juice with no sugar to sports magazines to the news channel at five o’clock," he says. His portfolio is full of a range of styles, including lots of smiling kids.

“I love the kids because a barbershop is somewhere that you can reach children,” Patterson says. “Children look up to you in a barbershop, and I think that's what barbershops were meant to do is put the correct message out on the streets to the youth, and I think that's where change can start — it can start at your local barbershop.”

Patterson says that while he is seeing Black customers travel to his shop from all over the city, the majority of the customers in his shop are white. JP’s Barbershop is only one of a few Black-owned businesses in Bridgeville, which is 95% white, according to recent census estimates.

And that’s why he says this win means so much to him, in addition to also placing second for Best Barbershop, because he wants to see Bridgeville keep growing.

“I always felt like I would be able to change things around here and obviously, I've been here for a year and a half now and things are really changing for this area and people are really excited and really happy to see this change, so for us to win the Black-owned business, it's very honoring.”

JP's Barbershop. 343 Hickman St., Bridgeville.