As celebrates a century of service to the Ditmas Park community this year, owner Leon Kogut could not be happier to call the place his own.
"I am so proud that I own the shop that has reached 100 years," Kogut told Ditmas Park Patch. "I'm only the fourth owner."
Kogut noted that the shop is more than a place to get a haircut; it's become a community gathering place.
"It's like a social club," Kogut said. "People come here not just to have a haircut, they sit down they come in to talk. People come here to share the news."
"They talk, they ask my opinion, they ask my advice. I've been married to my wife for 42 years; people ask how to stay in a successful marriage."
This is no new development for the shop; since first opening its doors in March of 1912 (the exact day is lost to antiquity) neighbors have been filing in for a trim and a chat.
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Previous manager about his time with the shop and what made the shop the best in Brooklyn.
"I remember very well there was a shop (that) used to charge, between 1969 and 1960, they used to charge 60 cents per haircut," said Messina. "And across the street there was a shop where they used to charge 75 cents per haircut."
"Over here, at 'Paul's Barbershop,' we used to charge $1.50. Double. And we were busy and worked with four barbers. Even though we had a lot of competition, the 60 cents, the 70 cents, 75 cents, $1.00, whatever. But over here was $1.50."
"That's why I said this was the best barbershop in Brooklyn. Not in the area. In Brooklyn."
Messina started working at what was then "Paul's Barbershop" in 1959, and took over the operation in 1967.
"In 1967 I purchased it and it became 'John Messina Barbershop.' In 1972 ... it became 'John Messina Hairstyle.'"
"In 1991 I sold the shop to this gentleman here, Leon Kogut," Messina said.
The timing was perfect for Kogut, who used to work in Manhattan and had been looking for a shop in Brooklyn to call his own. "I was working in midtown," Kogut said. "I finally decided to get my own shop, to be independent."
The decision to buy the shop was a good one, Kogut said, noting that he could not be prouder and more happy with the shop and his profession.
"People come here not just for haircut," he said. "I believe the haircut has a healing process; it changes [a person's] energy. They're reborn."