ENCINITAS — Stop by the Encinitas Barber Shop and you might see professional skateboarders Tony Hawk or Pierre-Luc Gagnon, former Mayor Dan Dalager, or a military officer getting a haircut. While it is uncertain what clients might be sitting in the three barbershop chairs, it is certain the barber’s last name is Villamar.
The Encinitas Barber Shop has been owned by the Villamar family for more than 30 years. In that time, the ownership of the shop has bounced back and forth between Joe Villamar Sr. and his sons Joe Jr. and Martin, who work with him. Currently Joe Villamar Jr. owns the barbershop.
Joe Villamar Sr. has been cutting hair since the 1960s. He first worked as a barber on the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, and then opened his own barbershop in Oceanside in the 1970s, before opening the shop in Encinitas in 1982.
Joe Villamar Jr. went directly into barbering. He has been cutting hair with his father for 30 years.
Martin Villamar had a career in the Coast Guard before he took up barbering.
The newest family members to work at the shop are Raul Villamar, who retired from a career in sales before he learned barbering, and Martin Villamar’s son, Matthew, who joined the team of family haircutters at age 22.
Joe Villamar Sr. remains the main barber. “Dad watches us like a hawk and tells us what we’re doing wrong,” Raul Villamar said.
Joe Villamar Sr. paid for his sons’ training once they expressed interest in joining the family business. “The family is very supportive of us going to barber school,” Raul Villamar said. “Mom’s dream was for us to go to Catholic school and for us to become barbers and follow in Dad’s footsteps. Both her dreams came true.”
The Villamar family prides itself on giving friendly customer service. “Someone else wouldn’t take care of clients like we would,” Raul Villamar said.
The television is usually tuned into “Pawn Stars,” Animal Planet or sports as conversation flows. “It’s like an old fashioned barber shop,” Raul Villamar said. “We have a lot of fun.”
In the future the barbershop is expected to undergo a few changes. Joe Villamar Sr. is set to retire soon and shaves may be added to the list of services.
Perhaps the biggest change is that some of the daughters of the present barbers are considering joining the currently all-male family business in a few years.
The Encinitas Barber Shop is located at 603 1/2 S. Coast Highway 101.
Call (760) 436-8598 for hours and information.