A Clip Joint

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Natural Bridge Road
Bel Ridge, MO

Great name for a barber shop, isn’t it?

This tiny place, just east of the inner belt, fascinates me.  Built in 1930, it’s only 252 square feet, and appears to have always been a barber shop.

Barber shops, in general, fascinate me because it’s a Guy Place.  Ladies are no more welcome in them than guys are in beauty shops.  Oh sure, anyone’s welcome through the door, but when the opposite sex “invades” one of these places, you can cut uncomfortable with a knife.

When the Clip Joint is open, there always seems to be at least two cars parked around it.  Seems it would only take 3 people for the joint to feel crowded, but that’s probably part of the appeal of this joint.

14 thoughts on “A Clip Joint

  1. I remember this place and the old coke machine outside…I lived on Medora right behind Carsonville Fire Dept… walked by this every day…

  2. Before it was Frank’s Barber Shop it was a stationer’s store. I think it was like a little ‘business supplies’ store – paper, envelopes, rubber stamps, paper clips, etc. I just know I wanted to go inside, because of curiosity at how tiny it was, but my parent’s never went there. I don’t know how long it existed before my memory of it but it would have been about 1958 or ’59 when I first was aware of it and it certainly wasn’t brand new looking. Ramona was the street that led to our neighborhood so I went by it one zillion times. It was Frank’s by the early ’70’s (probably from sometime in the ’60’s) – that sign shielded us from the winter winds zipping down Natural Bridge as we waited for the bus for Normandy Junior High and then Senior High. I have always loved it.

  3. Scott believe it or not there is a bathroom. The door looks like its part of the wall. Just enough room to sit down and then wash your hands:-) It is pretty amazing and I’m not just saying it because the owner happens to be my Dad lol

  4. My dad took me to that barbershop once or twice back in the mid 1970’s. The barber’s name was Frank, and I think he had been there, cutting hair, for at least 20 to 30+ years even then.

    Used to walk past it when friends and I would walk up to the McDonalds or A&W shop for a soda or ice cream cone. Frank would always wave at us kids as he was cutting hair or just sitting there reading a newspaper or magazine.

    Not necessarily the best haircuts (you were better off going to Ron at Bel-Acre’s barbershop just 1/2 mile down Natural Bridge, especially if you didn’t want to get clipped super short for the summer.) but it was a neat shop and location.

  5. I have actually had a haircut there, I believe just prior to my beginning my enlistment in the Navy. My grandparents lived in Bel Nor for 54 years, and that area (which was best described as “humble working class”) was a great area to live in.
    The barber shop looks like it should be a little building on a model railroad layout!

  6. i worked by umsl and drove past it every day and i too thought it was pretty cool little business… however, where is the bathroom???!!

  7. Ha! Interesting that Allan used a somewhat common colloquialism referring to a place where you would likely get bamboozled into leaving with significantly lighter pockets. Got a sense of humor there. Oh, and my Dog, that place is ADORABLE! Look at all that detail in such a small package: the quoins, the transom wondows, the soldiered brick wrapping (I assume) the building, the eaves. Like Debbie said, I just want to scoop it up, take it home, and plant it in my backyard.

  8. My grandpa took me here in 4th grade or so and I ended up with a terrible crew cut from the barber, who was about my grandpa’s age. At the time (’92 or ’93) it was Frank’s Barber Shop. The signage then was exactly the same, and I love the fact that Allan went and found someone to replicate the signs that were probably painted 50 years ago.

  9. I’ve always been fascinated with this place too, Toby. It’s so small. I feel the way a kid with a clubhouse might feel. A tiny place all my own.

  10. Dontcha wanna just tuck this in your pocket and take it home? Great find.

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