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Barber Shop is Phil of Fond Memories

Phil Evangelous retires on Saturday, ending 46 years here.

Although Brady Griffin is just two months old, his father Brian hoped he'd get a haircut Tuesday.

Because Phil Evangelous of Westborough's Phil's Barber Shop retires on Saturday, ending 46 years of cutting hair.

Including Brian Griffin's hair.

Brady would "probably be the youngest haircut Phil's ever given," said Brian Griffin, whose sons Sean, 4, and Connor, 2, got trims Tuesday.

"Even though (Brady) has no hair, we have to trim a little piece of hair off. Just so we can make it official that all three of my boys will have a Phil's haircut."

Griffin, 35, said he's been an Evangelous customer for 30 years.

"You'd get dropped off on a Saturday. You'd stay for three hours, and that was okay. You liked hanging out here," Griffin said.

Evangelous was a young man himself when he took over an existing barber shop here 46 years ago.

"It was thrilling for me to have my own business at 22 years old," he said.

"The thing I didn't like about it as I look back now, haircuts were only $1.75. They're now $15. But my rent was only $75 a month. And now it's $650 a month. But that's OK. It's been worth it."

Evangelous said he was inspired to be a barber by a friend's father, who did that.

"He always made a good living," said Evangelous, who worked in Northborough for two years before coming here.

"So I knew right away, when I was in high school, that I wanted to be self employed. And I thought a barber shop would be just the right fit for me."

Over the years, hundreds of fans have had photos hung on the shop walls, which are also decorated with well wishes.

"He's touched a lot of people's lives," Griffin said.

"They grow up with him. He's here when you graduated high school, got married and had kids."

Evangelous said this week has been "overwhelming for me. To the point where there's a lot of anxiety."

"It's kind of sad. I kind of expected this day would come at some point," he said while cutting a youngster's hair.

"But, it's kind of fun, too. This little guy here, this is what makes it fun. Because this is the thing I like about the shop. It's the kids. It's been a joy and an honor to know these families. The kids brighten my day. There's no doubt it."

Kids often request special haircuts. Evangelous remembered one request that he made of a group.

"My Westborough Little League baseball team that I sponsored about 15 years ago, I talked all the kids into having me carve my name into the back of their heads," he said.

"They all got buzzcuts, and I carved "Phil's Barber Shop' across the back of their heads. I gave them each $10 to do it. So, they got a haircut and $10."

Evangelous said his retirement plans include visiting his daughter and grandchildren in Annapolis for six weeks.

"We're planning on doing a Civil War tour," he said.

"I love history, and I love the Civil War. I'm intrigued by the Civil War."

A Framingham couple will take over the shop on Oct. 1, but remodel it first and then open a week later, Evangelous said.

The new shop will "pretty much do the same as me: same hours, same price," he said.

But not the same barber.

"I was here the first week he was," said Bill McMahon, a customer since high school.

"I just enjoy being here. He's a nice guy. Gives a good haircut. It's the atmosphere. As you can see, he takes good care of the kids."

Scott September 28, 2012 at 08:33 AM
Phil you rock and we all love you!!!

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