Jimmy Pavlidis is still going strong at 76 though he defers some of the store management to the Gashi brothers.

Slick with a razor

At 76, Jimmy Pavlidis, and his Fort Street barber shop, are downtown legends like none other.

Shaving hasn’t changed, and neither have haircuts at Jimmy’s Barber Shop. The Fort Street store is legendary in Victoria.

For 46 years it’s been a safe haven where men (who like women) can openly coo about women and where male banter flows as free as the wind. And while designer barber shops with modern décor and a focus on trendy hairstyles have popped up in Victoria in the past few years, Jimmy’s has stayed the same, mostly.

“We’re good like this,” says manager Artor Gashi, who works the No. 3 chair behind elder brother Vic in the No. 2 chair. “We charge $13 because we don’t want to sit around waiting. Everybody gets a good haircut, we take our time and do a good job.”

At 76, owner Jimmy Pavlidis is still slick with the razor but defers to Artor and Vic to manage the store’s image, which is as low-key and friendly as it gets in Victoria. His famous grin can be seen looking out onto Fort Street from behind his legendary No. 1 chair.

“Everybody knows we try to keep it fun and light, we joke around a lot,” Artor says. “Hey, I’m here eight hours a day, just a few feet from my brother. We have to have fun, clients don’t want a grumpy face.”

Sure, the place has its critics. And they’re open to it. There might as well be a sign on the door that says, “If you want a $40 designer cut, go get one.”

For $13 you get cleaned up with a traditional razor trim on the neck and sideburns and the option of a brief massage to loosen the shoulders.

Artor joined the shop in 2001, two years after elder brother Vic. They escaped Kosovo during the war in 1999 and have since started families. They feel lucky to be in Canada and bring that happiness to Fort Street everyday.

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