Pappy's Cuts, Downtown Matthews

A step into Pappy’s Cuts is a step back in time.

Photo by Cyma Shapiro

Photo by Cyma Shapiro

A step into Pappy’s Cuts (208 West Matthews Street) is a step back in time. Old-fashioned toys on shelves, older photos on walls; sports memorabilia proudly displayed around the room. A sparsely decorated waiting room, an inner room with two hairdressing chairs (only one is still used) and original wood paneling make it all feel like yesteryear.

Add in the spirit of the beloved original owner, David Large, Sr. (who passed in 2017), but remains in the hearts and minds of many clients (now in their 70s, 80s, 90s and even over 100), and you get the feeling that time has truly stood still – what remains is the ever-steady presence of David’s son, David Large Jr., 49, of Mint Hill, who chose, more than one dozen years ago, to follow in his father’s footsteps.

Photo by Cyma Shapiro

Photo by Cyma Shapiro

The only noticeable differences: the original $5 haircuts are now a fixed $10; a 2018 shop name change from Barber Shop to Pappy’s Cuts – was done in memory of and in tribute to David Jr.’s dad.

In truth, very little else has changed since the Large’s originally took ownership of the building in 1996, itself already frozen in time with much of the original 1950s décor. (His mother originally used a significant portion of the house for her finance business; only small two rooms encompass the barbershop).  

A dry-wit abounds here – a gentle, but constant ribbing of and by the owner, as his many long-time clients revolve in and out of the front door. David’s title on his business card: “Cranium Sculpting Engineer;” a specialty price, $7 for “Follically Challenged” patrons (balding or sparsely-haired) all attest to a place where stories are shared and camaraderie appreciated and encouraged.
Many older clients come through just to sit in the waiting room and/or the shop to banter about stories; as long as paying clients aren’t in the seat, David obliges.

Photo by Cyma Shapiro

Photo by Cyma Shapiro

David is more than a barber – a therapist, friend, buddy, and confidant. If only the walls could speak…

The end result for David, like his father before him, is the “tons of best friends…and golfing buddies” he’s gained, many of whom share his love of sports (he was also a marathon runner).  He says that to many repeat clients, he’s more than a barber – a therapist, friend, buddy, and confidant. If only the walls could speak…

Choosing to remain silent on many stories, one of his most memorable moments was shaving off the hair of eight buddies (two with long braided hair), who wanted to support a good friend struggling with the after-effects of cancer treatment.

The father of a 14-year-old daughter, David says that her Saturday presence - to mop and sweep floors - gives him the inkling that she may choose to go to hairdressing school and potentially follow in his footsteps. If not, it remains an all-in-the-family operation with his wife also in and out of the shop. (His early end-hours reflect his need to get his daughter from school and spend quality time with his family).

On this day, an 85-year-old long-time client and his 80-year-brother were getting their hair cut. “I just want to get a good haircut!” ribbed the older brother as he finally got his turn in the chair. Speaking loudly, David asked him to take out his hearing aids so they wouldn’t get cut. It was another fine day at the local barbershop.

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We provide men’s haircuts with great skill at good prices. No up-charges, no bull. And we throw in some laughs, a lot of sports talk (ok, maybe there’s some bull going on here), and random conversation.

At the shop, we “do” simple. No online appointments, no answering machine. If we answer the phone, we’re here.
— @pappyscutsmatthewsnc

Pappy’s Cuts

Mondays from 8 a.m. – noon
Tuesday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m
Saturday from 7:30 a.m. – noon