What do you do when the city says it is rerouting a major roadway right through the middle of your barber shop?
If you’re Bob Wingo of Rocky’s Barber Shop in Fayetteville, you pick up and move on. But you would also stay in the same shopping center and cash in on the fact that a new roadway will soon bring more potential customers close to your shop.
Located in Hudson Plaza II at the intersection of Hwy. 92 North and Hwy. 85 (North Glynn Street), Rocky’s Barber Shop has been on site since 1964. Wingo, who says he is not related to the county tax commissioner of the same last name, bought the shop 12 years ago from Doc Henderson who bought the shop from Rocky Taylor.
Wingo is one of four barbers based in the Fayetteville location. The other three are Tony Stiles, Jimmy White and Mike Mushenko.
When it looked imminent that the original Rocky’s location would become a victim of progress, Wingo says he was grateful he was given the option to relocate to the other side of the same shopping center. As it turns out, the relocation was a better deal than he initially figured, says Wingo. He says he and his colleagues now benefit from visibility to McDonald’s customers and convenient proximity to Midas Muffler customers, who often have time for a haircut while they’re waiting for their vehicle to be repaired.
“The new shop is brighter and it has more room. We love it,” Wingo says convincingly as he cuts David Elder’s hair.
Elder, a Fayette County resident, is one of many customers Wingo was glad to retain through the relocation. “We think most of them found us,” he says.
After Elder leaves the shop, Wingo says he has been cutting Elder’s hair for a couple of decades now. Ever since Elder was in high school, he reckons. He says he has some customers who have been hanging around since he started cutting hair in the 1960s.
In some cases, Wingo says he cuts three generations of hair. Before he hangs up his clippers, he may someday be able to make that claim about four generations.
“I have no idea about retiring,” Wingo says confidently. “I just signed a five-year lease.
“I’m going to pull a Truett Cathy,” he laughs.
When asked for his opinion on what the city is doing with the roadway realignment, Wingo says he is a fan, not just because the new arrangement will likely bring more customers close to his location, but because he believes it makes sense on a larger level.
The City of Fayetteville, in an effort to ease rush-hour congestion on its main highway corridor, is going to connect Hood Avenue and Hwy. 92 so that they then come to Hwy. 85 at only one intersection. Currently, they both intersect with Hwy. 85 and are only one block apart from each other. This makes the Hood Avenue intersection particularly dangerous during peak traffic periods along Hwy. 85.
“I think it will be a good thing,” Wingo says. “The city is trying to do something with the traffic instead of waiting until it is too late.
“I think it will work.”
If nothing else, the road construction and realignment will be one more thing for Wingo and his loyal customers to watch and talk about from the bigger, brighter shop.