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It’s less than a week before Christmas and Moore’s Barbershop is bustling.

Mask-wearing barbers are clipping, trimming, and shaving hair, while several customers wait for their chance in the chair at the small shop on Langston Blvd. There’s an echo of chatter, conversations ranging from politics to football to a mutual friend who got a new job.

By the window stands Jim Moore Jr., the owner, cutting and chatting at the same time. It was in 1960, when his father — Jim Moore Sr. — opened this shop in the Halls Hill neighborhood to cater to Arlington’s Black community, who were often not welcome in white barbers’ chairs.

For more than six decades, the shop has thrived as a focal point for the community, a place where all were welcome and lifelong friendships have formed.

But on Nov. 7, its patriarch Jim Moore Sr. died at the age of 88.

Now, several weeks since his death, memories are fluttering down much like hair trimmings from a fresh cut.

“Always jovial,”  says Keaton Hopkins describing the elder Moore. Hopkins has been getting his haircut here for more than thirty years, since he was five years old. “Always smiling… We always had a great conversation.”

“He never seemed to have a bad day,” says Clay Pinson, a barber at the shop for about twenty years. “He was always in a good mood.”

His son, Jim, notes that these are common refrains, that his father was kind, a good conversationalist, and knew how to make people feel special.

“People have kept coming to me since his passing to tell me stories of the things he’s done for them and the lessons they learned from him,” Moore Jr. tells ARLnow, emotion coming through his voice. “That’s just who he was. He made a difference for a lot of people.”

Moore Sr. was born in North Carolina, served in the Korean War, and went to barber school before finding his way to Arlington, after getting a tip that the Halls Hill neighborhood was in need of a barber’s services. While there were Black barbers in the county and nearby in D.C., white clients would only go to them if the clippers and scissors had not been used on a Black client.

“They refused to cut Black people’s hair,” says Moore Jr.

So, Moore Sr. opened his own shop with a partner, Rudolf Becton, and ingrained himself in the community. In addition to being a barber, he was also a volunteer firefighter at the nearby, historic Fire Station #8.  In 1962, Jim Moore Jr., was born and it didn’t take long before the young son went to work at the family business.

“I started when I was seven [years old] and my job was cleaning it up for him, sweeping hair,” he says. “I didn’t start cutting hair until I was a teenager.”

He also followed in his father’s footsteps by becoming an Arlington firefighter, serving the county for more than thirty years before retiring in 2020. On his off-days from the department, though, he would stand by his father’s side.

Moore Jr. learned that being a barber is about so much more than just knowing how to handle scissors. The profession requires listening, building relationships, and making people feel comfortable.

“Cutting hair is an intimate activity,” says the younger Moore. “You are close to somebody, you touch them, you smell them. You can see the sweat and tension when they are talking about certain subjects. You need to know how to read a person.”

And there was no one better at those skills than the elder Moore.

“I called it his superpower. The ability to… allow people the space to be their authentic self,” Moore Jr. says.

Throughout its history, Moore’s Barbershop has continued to be a place for everyone. In fact, it’s often cited as the first integrated barber shop in Arlington. Moore Jr. says his father never believed in segregation, knowing that a good haircut and great conversation were universal desires.

Moore Jr. has continued this tradition of providing for the community, including giving away books to kids, free back-to-school haircuts, and simply by taking the load off of beleaguered spouses.

“What my dad taught me is that you can be successful in many ways. It doesn’t have to be a great big billion dollar house or a great big million dollar company,” says Moore Jr. “The smallest things can make a huge difference. That’s what he always put out there.”

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Morning Notes

Hiring sign and a long drive-thru line at the Langston Blvd Starbucks (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Fundraiser for Westover Barber — “A barber at a beloved #ArlingtonVA barber shop needs help while he undergoes radiation and chemo.” [GoFundMe, Twitter]

Covid Officially on the Rise — “Arlington County, like much of Virginia, is now seeing a HIGH level of community transmission. It is recommended everyone age 2 and up wear a mask in indoor public spaces, regardless of vaccination status.” [Twitter]

Santa Returning to Cherrydale — From the Cherrydale Volunteer Fire Department: “It is t-minus 3 days until that jolly old elf himself, Santa Claus, joins us for our parades through Cherrydale! Are you ready? We will be parading through North Cherrydale on Thursday, December 9th, and then South Cherrydale on Friday, December 10th. Both parades will take place from 6-8pm.” [Facebook]

Home Stretch for Big Bell Project — “The Netherlands Carillon has reached the final stages of a massive renovation project which brought the addition of three new bells and the retuning of the existing bells, making it a ‘Grand Carillon.'” The Carillon is currently expected to reopen in the spring. [WUSA 9]

Report: Metro Errors After Fatal Stabbing — “An investigation into Metro’s actions during the Aug. 3 stabbing incident at the Pentagon Transit Center determined that Metrorail failed to establish an on-scene command center and did not communicate effectively with its personnel at the Pentagon Station during the emergency. These delays led to a 13-minute gap between the report of an active shooter situation and the evacuation of the Pentagon Station platform. In addition, Metro lost track of station personnel during the emergency.” [Patch]

Helicopter Called in for Shirlington Sexual AssaultUpdated at 8:45 a.m. — According to Arlington County police this morning, a suspect was arrested last night in the following case: “4200 block of 31st Street S. At approximately 2:57 a.m. on December 7, police were dispatched to the report of trouble unknown. The investigation determined that the known suspect sexually assaulted the known victim. Officers located the suspect in the area and he fled on foot. A perimeter was established and the area was searched with the assistance of the United States Park Police helicopter. The suspect was not located and the investigation is ongoing.” [ACPD]

Little Snow Expected Today, After All — From the Capital Weather Gang: “Brutal — Watch DC’s snow event slip away in 16 GFS model runs. Early runs had rain– then it was snow– now it’s nada.” [Twitter, Capital Weather Gang]

It’s Wednesday — Today there is a chance of snow, mixing with rain after 10am, then gradually ending. Cloudy, with a high near 43. Sunrise at 7:14 a.m. and sunset at 4:46 p.m. Tomorrow there will be increasing clouds, with a high near 44 and a low of 35. [Weather.gov]

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Bearded Goat Barber is opening its third location next week in Shirlington.

The 1,0888 square-foot full service barber shop turns on its shears Monday, November 1 in the former Hair Cuttery space at 4150 Campbell Avenue, next to I-CE-NY and Samuel Beckett’s Irish Gastro Pub.

Bearded Goat Barber Shop is co-owned by serial entrepreneur Scott Parker and barbers Eric Renfro and Jon Dodson. Its first location in Ballston opened in 2019 and the second opened last year in D.C.’s Navy Yard. The expansion to Shirlington was first announced in February

With the region emerging from the pandemic, Parker believes that now is the time to grow.

“The Bearded Goat brand is stronger than ever,” Parker wrote to ARLnow via email. “There is currently a 4-5 week wait to get a cut at our first two locations. Since restrictions were loosened, we are busier than ever. It is the perfect time to expand, and we are slowly starting to look for our fourth location.”

As for where that fourth location of Bearded Goat could be, no further details were provided.

The barber shop offers haircuts, shape-ups, beard sculpting, grey blending, and straight razor hot towel shaves. It’s also “committed to following all CDC guidelines,” which includes sanitizing workspaces, tools, chairs, capes, and the waiting area between all visits.

Scott Parker is probably more well-known for his bars and restaurants. Those include Don Tito in Clarendon, Barley Mac in Rosslyn, Bronson Bierhall in Ballston, and, soon, Poppyseed Rye in Ballston and Nighthawk Pizza in Pentagon City.

That pizza spot with “a 90s vibe and a beer hall-like atmosphere” was initially supposed to open this fall, but it’s been pushed back to “early 2022,” according to a spokesperson.

Parker is also co-founder of BASH Boxing.

Renfro and Dodson were barbers at Hendricks Barbershop in Clarendon before partnering with Parker on Bearded Goat.

“Jon and Eric decided to start their own shop, and asked me to be a part of it,” Parker told ARLnow back in 2018. “They’re super talented guys with almost 20 years of combined experience in barbering. For them it was a chance to finally realize their dream, and, for me, a great opportunity to work with two very passionate, accomplished people.”

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Throughout this fall, there could be a few new faces around Shirlington as high-intensity gym F45 and some other businesses plan to launch in the next few months.

The gym is scheduled to have its grand opening at 2800 S. Randolph Street on Saturday, Sept. 11, according to a press release, though staff working amid a torrential downpour earlier this week said the gym had a soft launch last Saturday.

The grand opening is scheduled for 8 a.m.-noon, and will include free classes, a chance to win a raffle after each class, and exclusive membership offers.

The gym’s fitness program centers on high-intensity interval training, circuit training, and functional training — increasing the heart rate to boost metabolism and burn fat effectively, said the press release.

Just around the corner, Bearded Goat Barber is scheduled to open at 4150 Campbell Avenue sometime this fall. The Shirlington location, next to Samuel Beckett’s Irish Gastro Pub, will be the third for the barbershop, which first opened in Ballston in 2019.

Bearded Goat is aiming for an opening on Friday, Oct. 1, said co-owner Scott Parker, though the exact opening date remains a moving target.

Also coming this fall is CHIKO, a Chinese/Korean fusion restaurant at 4040 Campbell Avenue. The restaurant features a mix of dishes from both countries, like bulgogi stir fry and “orange-ish” chicken.

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Morning Notes

Some Automatic Ped Signals Ending — “The County will be rolling back automatic pedestrian phase activations at several signalized intersections across Arlington. This measure was enacted in 2020 in response to low traffic volumes due to the COVID-19 pandemic and to minimize the need to press push buttons to trigger the pedestrian phase at a signal. This initiative was accompanied by ‘Do Not Push’ signage posted at various intersections.” [Arlington County, Twitter]

Mostly Back to Usual for School Buses — “APS will operate with normal bus capacity and follow normal procedures. Properly fitted masks are required for everyone on school buses and inside schools. There will be no temperature checks or verification of health screening completion upon arrival at the bus or school. Families will continue to receive the daily Qualtrics Symptom Screener as a reminder to complete health screening with their children prior to arrival at the bus, and to check temperatures daily. Please keep students home if they are sick.” [Arlington Public Schools]

Armed Robbery of Phone in Penrose — “The victim and suspect connected online regarding the sale of a cellphone. When the male victim arrived at the agreed upon location, he approached the two suspects and asked if he could see the cellphone prior to purchasing. Suspect One reached into his backpack, brandished a firearm and demanded the victim give him all of his money while Suspect Two brandished a knife. The victim gave the suspects an undisclosed amount of cash and the two fled the scene on bikes.” [ACPD]

AWLA Caring for Cat Hit By Car — “Last week, Gomez was hit by a car and needs eye removal surgery, a weight -gain diet and monitoring for neurological symptoms. You can make sure Gomez, and more pets like him, get the lifesaving care they need by donating.” [Twitter]

County Mulls Joining Sports Event Consortium — “Should Arlington government leaders wish to join an emerging regional consortium aimed at jointly promoting sports facilities in Northern Virginia, they’d be welcome to do so, officials with the new group said. In return, Arlington officials said they would be interested in being part of the effort down the road, if opportunities present themselves.” [Sun Gazette]

Free Cuts for Kids at Local Barbershop — “Moore’s Barber Shop in Arlington is part of the initiative, ‘Kuts For Kids,’ with Building Blocks Mentoring Program… giving kids free back-to-school haircuts.” [Fox 5]

Segment Draws Customer from a Distance — From barber James Moore: “Yesterday, @fox5dc @gwenfox5dc did a story at the barbershop. A man 70 miles away saw it and came in for a haircut today. My new friend Mike gave me tomatoes, peppers, apricot preserve and a FD patch for our ‘good deeds.’ It was so cool!” [Twitter]

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(Updated at 11:05 a.m.) A new boozy barbershop is under construction in Ballston, setting up a coming battle between a growing national chain and a homegrown, expanding local shop.

Scissors & Scotch is currently under construction on the 4000 block of Fairfax Drive, about halfway between the Ballston and Virginia Square Metro stations.

The shop, on the ground floor of the recently-constructed J Sol apartment tower, will offer customers haircuts, straight razor shaves, and hair removal services, in addition to alcoholic drinks, as the name suggests. The Kansas City-founded chain has an existing location in D.C.’s Navy Yard neighborhood, and another planned at Union Market.

Scissors & Scotch is not the only upscale barbershop in the area, however.

Bearded Goat Barber opened in 2019 at 4201 Wilson Blvd, several blocks away, and will soon offer customers a complimentary beer or cold brew coffee with their haircut. The barbershop is in the process of applying for a new type of Virginia ABC permit that allows licensees to serve limited quantities of free alcohol.

“We are applying so that we can get a market license which would allow for a complimentary beer for each customer upon every visit,” Bearded Goat partner Scott Parker tells ARLnow.

Bearded Goat has been expanding since opening its inaugural Ballston location. It recently opened in Navy Yard and is now expanding to Shirlington.

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