Smithville Barber Shoppe

stevefitzgerald@ehcbarber.com

(609) 652-2442 Shoppe

615 East Moss Mill Road, Galloway 08205

Lou's Barber Shop

319 Philadelphia Ave, Egg Harbor City

hours:

Sundays:10am - 3pm

Mondays:10am - 6pm

Tuesdays:10am - 6pm

Wednesdays:10am - 6pm

Thursdays:10am - 6pm

Fridays: 10am - 6pm

Saturdays: 10am - 6pm

Sundays:10am - 3pm

Great news! We just bought Lou's Barber Shop in Egg Harbor City! Don't worry, we aren't changing anything, just sprucing it up a bit. We will open once everything is in place and working the way they should be. Come visit us soon!

Meet Lou

Lou is a local, born and raised in Egg Harbor City. He grew up and worked for other shops in his teens. 60 years later, he opened up his own barber shop on Philadelphia Avenue. Lou is now 90 years old and is an extremely knowledgeable Barber, caring human being, and a great friend. 

History of Lou's Barber Shop

    Lou’s Barber Shop has recently been renovated and refurbished by the new owner Steven Fitzgerald. Steven took an interest to Lou and his barber shop and decided he would take over the shop while Lou would retire. Steven loves the atmosphere surrounding Philadelphia avenue and was fascinated by the stories he was being told about the history and the past of Lou’s Barber Shop by onlookers as the shop was being transformed so he decided to pay a visit to the Egg Harbor City Historical Society to gather even more information about Lou’s Barber Shop and the history of the building located on Lot 26 of Block 208.

 

    The earliest information Steven received at the Egg Harbor City Historical Society about lot 26 was from 1862. Steven found out that prior to Lou, the building was owned by H. Groenefeld from 1862-1870. Groenfeld lived in Cincinnati and bought 3 lots on the 208 block, lot 24, lot 25, and lot 26. In 1867, Groenfeld paid $200 for the ownership of all 3 lots. The tide turned in 1886 when lot 26 got a new owner. The new owner, Friedrick (also known as Fred) Berchtold bought all 3 lots, lot 24, lot 25, and lot 26 from Groenfeld for $450 in 1886 and owned the 3 lots up until 1893 (Berchtold was a fireman which mean he didn’t have to pay taxes, so now taxes were being given to lot 26 through those years). 1894 is a rough patch on the tax returns, Fred Berchtold’s name was dramatically crossed off in the ownership box that year and the following year the owner changed. No one seems to know what happened and we might never find out. The year after Berchtold’s name was crossed off, 1895, the new owner emerged. He went by Christopher Hess. Hess bought the property from Berchtold for the high price of $800 and paid $16.14 worth of tax dollars. Christopher Hess owned the lot for quite a couple of years and in 1900, the tax price went up to $22, meaning that lot 26 was probably transformed into a house. In the books, Steven saw that Christopher Hess owned the property from 1895-1916 but received a new owner in 1945. The last bit of information Steven received from the tax returns was that the new owner’s name was Fred Meineke and he bought the lot in 1945 for $1000. Steven went into the Egg Harbor City Historical Society with a positive mindset hoping to find out some history of Block 208 Lot 26 but he came back with more than what he was hoping for.

 

    Steven Fitzgerald took two trips to the Historical Society, the first trip was for gathering information on the past owners and the second trip was to gather pictures of the town of Egg Harbor City in the late 1800s and early 1900s but on his second trip, he ran into an old friend of Lou’s and gathered even more information about lot 26. Lou’s friend told Steven that the barber shop was once a gas station owned by Johnny Oaks and called Oaks, they sold gas and the average convenience store supplies (almost like a Wawa). After the gas station, it was then an appliances store owned by Joe Kurtz. Kurtz sold your everyday appliances to everyone on Philadelphia Avenue. Lou’s friend then said after the appliance store, the property was taken over by Johnny Jenson who sold the average food products, it was very popular with the locals and the others who would travel through Egg Harbor City. After Johnny Jenson’s food store, it was then transformed into a junk food, snacks, and soda store by Bobby Butler, almost like a Wawa if you will. After Butler, John Verdeine changed the snack store into a sub shop with two pool tables and a pinball machine. The sub shop was a very popular hangout place for everyone, especially teens, the subs cost a Quarter. John Verdeine renovated the place extremely. Verdeine put up a wall so one side was the store, and the other side was an apartment for him and his family. The kitchen in the apartment was located right on the other side of the wall and Lou’s friend told Steven that John’s wife dropped dead right next door. Lou’s friend then told Steven that after John Verdeine’s sub shop, it was taken over by Lou. Once Lou obtained ownership of 319 Philadelphia Ave, he transformed the place. His brother and father-in-law redid the ceilings and made the sub shop look more like a barber shop. Just like Lou, once Steven got ownership of the company, he refurbished and redid the place. After the barber shop was finished being redone, Lou paid a visit to see how it turned out. He says it was a little different than how it used to look, but that was Steven’s goal, Steven is trying to mix the old with the new and make everything old, new again.

 

    Steven’s excursion from Smithville to the Egg Harbor City Historical Society was more than he expected, he came out with way more information than he envisioned. With the information Steven gathered from the Historical Society about lot 26 of block 208, he is hoping to help the customers feel as if it never changed. Steven has changed it up a bit, but overall, he wants the customers to feel the same feeling they felt when they first stepped foot into Lou’s those many years ago. 

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