Point Pleasant’s Pasola’s Barber Shop is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.
The shop’s story begins in Trenton with founder Louis Pasola, who began cutting hair at 15 years old.
“He came from Italy in 1909. He was 9 years old and like many immigrants at that time, he only went to school until he was 12. He quit school in the sixth grade and that was common back then because they were poor and had to go to work,” said Jack Pasola, Mr. Pasola’s son and the current owner of the shop.
“In 1912, he went to work in a barber shop in Trenton. He swept hair off the floor and everyone used to get shaves then in the barber shop, so he would get the hot towel ready for the barber, lather faces and by the time he was 15 years old, he was a full-fledged barber cutting hair, shaving and doing everything that a barber did back then.”
In 1921 Mr. Pasola bought his own shop in Trenton. The shop has been at its current location on Arnold Avenue in Point Pleasant since 1952.
“We moved to the area in 1948. I was 5 years old at the time. My father opened a barber shop in Brick Township in the Breton Woods section. Brick Township at that time was all farms, woods, the population was hardly anything, but he did very well in Breton Woods,” Mr. Pasola said.
“A barber in Point Pleasant in about 1952 took sick … and called my father and said, ‘Why are you working in Brick, why don’t you come over to Point Pleasant?’ So, in about 1952, he did.”
Mr. Pasola has been cutting hair in this same location for 58 years, seeing many locals and long-time patrons walking through the doors of the small-town business.
“I graduated Point Pleasant Beach High School in 1962 and went to barber school in New York and then finished in 1963 and went to work for my father. So, I have been cutting hair for 58 years and have been running it since about 1965,” he said.
“It’s funny — in 1982 in Point Beach, I ran for council, and my father was all worried that that would hurt the business, because [he thought if I became] a councilman people wouldn’t want to come in, but if anything it helped the business, because people wanted to meet me and get to know me.
“The business has been very successful. My father was always busy and I have had 58 years and I still work part-time, at 77 years old, and still enjoy it. I have customers that I have been cutting their hair for 55 years now and it is just so rewarding.”
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