LACONIA — Cody Walker Jr. was busy cutting hair Wednesday in a shop adorned with an Elvis likeness on fabric, several acoustic and electric guitars, a drum set and a clock with the hours marked by combs, scissors, razors and brushes.
This used to be JD’s Barber Shop, but Walker has taken over the business and now calls the business at 610 Main Street, The Main Street Social Club.
“I’m calling it a Social Club because I want people to feel relaxed,” he said in an interview Wednesday. “I want it to be a place where people talk, where small business owners can give each other their cards, where people can grab a cup of coffee.
“I’m a lover of music, and the term social club has musical aspects.”
Walker, 33, is a guitarist from Jacksonville, Florida, who moved here about a year and a-half ago. His daughter goes to Laconia Middle School.
He first came to the Lakes Region five years ago for a gig at the Tower Hill Tavern in The Weirs.
“I decided to come back and visit,” he said. “It was beautiful and I decided to move here.”
Walker and fellow barber, Travis Fand, were each working on a customer Wednesday afternoon and several more were waiting.
“We have a mixed batch of customers,” he said. “A lot of JD’s clients are older and I have a lot of younger clients. We get some police officers and middle-aged guys as well. It’s a blue collar barber shop.”
Haircut styles come and go, but Walker said a lot of his customers are now asking for shorter cuts.
“Those seem to be very popular, some want it down to the skin,” he said. “Some want small pompadours in the front. Parted to the side styled cuts are also really popular.”
He sees a lot of potential for downtown and sees similarities to his old Murray Hill neighborhood in Jacksonville, which went through a renaissance driven by the arts community.
A lot of the customers who come into the shop talk politics, but it is usually of the local, rather than national, variety.
“I prefer that, too, in this day and age,” he said.
He likes cutting hair, but also likes socializing and getting to know the community.
“I like making people feel good,” he said. “Travis and I want to be that barber shop that people want to come back to, that pays attention to details.
“We want to be a simple barber shop that does a good job, not too fancy. You leave with a good haircut and want to come back.”