Jean’s is more than a place to get a haircut; it’s a center of African-American culture in Reno
When you think of an old timey barber shop, you may think of a place where men gather to get a shave and a haircut (two bits) and to socialize with their friends. Jean’s Barber Shop has all that and more. Located at 730 Seventh St., this barber shop is a friendly place that gets most of its customers from word of mouth and repeat business. Upon entering this small shop, folks are immediately greeted by Jackie May and her nephew Marcus Mcalister. Odds are there will be four or five others sitting in chairs next to them, telling stories and jokes and laughing away. Some might be there to actually get a haircut, while others just came to check in and socialize. If it gets too quiet, May sends one of her customers over to the jukebox to put on a little Mary J. Blige or other soulful artist. Everyone starts bobbing their heads to the music and goes right back to telling stories of themselves and others they know.
In the corner, there’s a TV set to Sportscenter. This fields some conversation about the previous night’s NBA game and discussions of players getting traded. Someone slips with a swear word, and May turns around to politely remind them that this is a family business. Everyone calms down and resumes swapping stories.
The place is decorated with sports memorabilia of famous African-American athletes and public figures. Grant Hill, Muhammad Ali and Martin Luther King Jr. are just a few.
This is one barber shop that has its own flavor, but keeps the tradition of a gathering point for friends to come together.