Since 1968 until now Joes Barber Shop has been a pillar in the Black community in the Quad Cities. Joe McLemore owner of Joe’s Barber Shop has been in the same spot, nestled on Harrison Street in Davenport and has become a place for more than getting a fresh cut.
“He teaches me a lot about history. Things I would not have known before, he’s just a very wise man,” said barber Daniel Burnside.
Joe’s Barber Shop is not only a place to learn about history and get some solid advice, it is also a place that has been visited by a plethora of sports icons such as Roger Craig and Walter Peyton.
“Mr. Roger Craig was the first man in the NFL to get a thousand a thousand, a thousand receiving and a thousand rushing. Mr. Michael Nunn became a two time world champion wait a three time world champion,” said Joe McLemore.
Both customers and employees say Joe’s Barber shop has become somewhat of a second home.
“It is a second home where men can come and talk about things only men can talk about,” said Burnside.
After being open for over five decades Joe says that this road to staying in business for as long as he has, was a long one but it was all worth it.
“I’d stay in the shop sometime until 10:30, 11:30 at night. I was possessed at trying to keep money. I just knew I didn’t have any other recourse. I had to raise a family. But it’s all good I am grateful for what the creator has blessed me to have…I don’t know if its true or not but something helped me get here,” said McLemore.
So, after all this time what keeps people coming back? Well, long time customer Marlo Dent says not only can he get a great cut at a good price it is also somewhere that feels like home.
“Well everyone likes to look nice but Joe’s is more than that it is a place to come together it’s a comradery.”
And after five decades in business Joe says for the black community its important to remember the people who helped you to get where you are.
“For my race it’s especially important and it is the one thing you never want to forget that there’s someone who helped you from the old generation. Try to do the best you can and whatever you do stop all the whining and crying and just get busy.”