Cut it up

Anthony “The Barber” Giannotti

Photo By carolyn king

Call him old-fashioned, but Anthony Giannotti likes to be considered a barber. Of course, that’s why he calls himself Anthony “The Barber,” but along with his old-school technique (“with a new twist”), Giannotti prides himself on being able to do any style you want, fades and mohawks alike. His story goes like this: After getting laid off and being unemployed for a while, Giannotti decided to open up his own shop. (How’s that for touché?) What came next was Anthony’s Barbershop—a little bit country, a little bit punk rock, with a dash of rockabilly. As a musician and supporter of local music, Giannotti suggests that you bring your band’s fliers into his shop so he can post them. “And shop local!” he says. Check out Anthony’s Barbershop at 2408 21st Street, (916) 457-1120, or find him on the Web at

So are there rivalries between hair stylists?

You know, there are between some shops. I try not to. We just cut hair, we’re not that important.

Do you have any specialty hairdos?

I kind of specialize in the ‘50s and a lot of punk hairstyles. I do everything: fades, flattops, line-ups.

You can do a mohawk or a hi-top fade?

Yeah. I can do a mohawk, a military high-and-tight. Whatever you want, I can do it.

In these dire times, are you experiencing a downturn in business?

Oh yeah, definitely. I mean, everybody is. I’ve been talking to a lot of my friends that cut hair all over the state, and we’re all feeling it just like everyone else. You just gotta go out there and do more advertising and hope people will support local business.

Did you feel just a little bit insane opening a business right now?

Yeah. It was kind of like, “Well, this is probably the worst time I’ve seen in my lifetime to open a business. But I got a good spot and I can’t pass it up, so I’ll just go for it and hope it works out.”

Is that honey shop still over there?

Yeah, it’s right around the corner.

Do you ever go in? What’s going on in there?

I always go by there when it’s closed, but they seem to still be kicking along.

I think if a honey shop can stay open, your store is going to do just fine. Aren’t you in a band?

I was, but not currently. I played [upright bass] in the Infamous Swanks for a while; I played in a little country band, the Ribeyes and I played in a rockabilly band called the Hellcat Daddies.

Are you looking for a new band?

I do want to put another band together, but I’m so busy with the shop that I don’t have time right now. Hopefully by this summer I’ll have time to start talking to some musicians again.

You must get a lot of chicks as a hair stylist who’s in a band.

(Laughs.) Not so much. You know, since I’m married.

Uh, congratulations.

Thank you.

So what did you do while you were unemployed?

Rode my bike around. I read a lot of books, watched a lot of movies. I was a big Netflix customer.

Anything good that you can recommend for the other unemployed people?

I’m a big Quentin Tarantino fan. And I really liked The Bank Job. Um, I watched so many I can’t remember. I counted them all up, and in five months of being unemployed, I watched over 150 movies.

Was your wife bummed out that you didn’t have a job?

No, she was pretty cool about it. She’s been real supportive, because when I got laid off we talked about it, and I was like, “I really want to open my own shop.” She was cool. She had a decent job and I picked up a job cutting hair temporarily in West Sac. And then she got laid off. So November and December, we were both unemployed together. It was kind of stressful at first, but I did pick up little side jobs here and there. We had a lot of fun. After we got over the initial stress of being unemployed, it was some of the most relaxing fun times we’ve had in our marriage so far.

So what can we expect when we go in your shop?

I’m always playing the surf, skate and snowboard videos. Music DVDs, that kind of stuff. Just chill and get a haircut. No pressure.

Is it just you in there right now?

Yeah, right now. Hopefully by March or April it’ll be busy enough to bring in a friend of mine from barber school.

Do you get lonely in there during slow times?

Definitely. Lately in the afternoons it’s been busy enough. But those days where you sit for like six hours by yourself—

Can we just come in and say “hi” without getting a haircut?

Yeah, absolutely. You’re welcome to come down and watch DVDs and hang out.