Century-old Baton Rouge business featured in National Geographic Magazine
BATON ROUGE- A popular barbershop in South Baton Rouge is in the national spotlight Tuesday. Webb's Barbershop is featured in the February/March issues of National Geographic's Traveler magazine as the magazine profiled 29 destinations in cities on the rise.
Webb's has been in the same location at Government and Eddie Robinson since the 1920's.
Louis Tillotson has been cutting hair there for half a century.
"I've been cutting hair for 53 years," Tillotson recalled. "I started October 1, 1964."
A few chairs down from Tillotson, is Lenny Davis. He's been cutting hair here for 34 years.
"I love meeting people, being around people," Davis said.
The conversations inside always prolific.
"We get it first," Davis said. "We get gossip first whether it's true or not, we get it first."
Today's conversation shifted to the magazine feature. WBRZ brought it to their attention that they were prominently displayed for "best groomed."
The cover of the February and March issue of the magazine features countries like Japan, South Africa and cities like Dubrovnik, Glasgow, and Tuscany. On page 71 under best groomed the magazine states, "Black and red linoleum floors and vintage swivel chairs summon up the 1920's founding of the historically African American Webb's Barber Shop in Louisiana's capital city. It's one of an unusually high number of hair salons and grooming spots that let the good-looking times roll in this relaxed town sprawled along the Mississippi River."
Back inside, it's easy to find out why they were featured. There's a sense of pride.
"I like what I'm doing," Tillotson said. "As long as my health allows me, I'm going to do it."
In 53 years, Tillotson has met some famous people too.
"Shaq," He recalled.
Tillotson cut Shaquille Oneal's hair when he was in college.
"His first day, his parents brought him by here," Tillotson said. "I met them, and I cut his hair through college, and every now and again he comes back through here."
Regular customers like Wendell Fisher were excited to hear the business he's been coming to for three decades was featured in a national magazine. Fisher brings his whole family here.
"Once they start coming, they are going to keep on coming," Fisher said.