After 29 years, South Austin Barber Shop prepares to open a second shop this month

Bob Wandersee (center) opened South Austin Barber Shop in 1989. His son, Tom (right) now owns the business and grandson Matthew (left) is a barber.

Bob Wandersee (center) opened South Austin Barber Shop in 1989. His son, Tom (right) now owns the business and grandson Matthew (left) is a barber.

Image description
South Austin Barber Shop: Open since 1989, the business will launch a second location this month
Image description
South Austin Barber Shop: Open since 1989, the business will launch a second location this month
Image description
South Austin Barber Shop: Open since 1989, the business will launch a second location this month
Image description
South Austin Barber Shop: Open since 1989, the business will launch a second location this month
Image description
South Austin Barber Shop: Open since 1989, the business will launch a second location this month
Image description
South Austin Barber Shop: Open since 1989, the business will launch a second location this month
Image description
South Austin Barber Shop: Open since 1989, the business will launch a second location this month
Image description
South Austin Barber Shop: Open since 1989, the business will launch a second location this month

In 1989, Bob Wandersee opened South Austin Barber Shop on the corner of Stassney Lane and South First Street. His grandson, Matthew Wandersee, was born the same year.


“I’ve gotten my hair cut here my whole life,” Matthew said. “When I was a kid, I’d wait until my grandfather finished with all his customers, then he’d cut my hair.”


Now, 29 years later, Bob is retired, his son Tom owns the store, and Matthew barbers from the third chair on the right—the same one he used to sit in as a child.


“Instead of coming in and waiting for my grandpa to cut my hair, I now cut my grandpa’s hair,” Matthew said.


When South Austin Barber Shop opened, it had only three chairs, and a haircut cost $7. Today, haircuts start at $30. Nine chairs fill the shop, and a new location on Slaughter Lane will open by the end October with an additional 12 chairs, Tom said. 


“This is a legacy,” he said. “There’s something really cool about the shop being in our family for the past three generations.”


South Austin Barber Shop specializes in men’s hair styles and offers traditional-style barbering, beard trims, hot-towel shaves and more. Fades are a popular style, Tom said. The shop hires only licensed barbers, he said, and they use a raiser finish on all haircuts.


Unlike an “old school” barber shop, Tom said he keeps a tight schedule. Clients can sit around and talk, but it’s not the 5-hour experience of the past where a client would walk in without an appointment and wait and hope he could get a haircut, he said.


“The camaraderie and the spirit of the barber shop is pretty much the same throughout the years,” Matthew said. “People come in and talk about the weather, sports—a lot of that has remained the same. But hair styles change, and trends happen, and we’re always learning the latest cuts.”


The balance of a traditional barber shop ambiance and modern haircutting techniques defines the business, Tom said.


“I’m proud of that I was able to carry this on and be very successful,” he said. “I’m also proud that my son’s involved in the business and is a very good barber. I love being able to recommend him with all the confidence in the world that he’s going to do a good job.”

SHARE THIS STORY


MOST RECENT

A photo of a stretch of East Slaughter Lane with yellow delineators.
Austin Transportation Department installs safety upgrades to 500 block of East Slaughter Lane

The Austin Transportation Department closed the median break between 515 and 516 E. Slaughter Lane.

Cooper's Sandwiches now open in Southwest Austin

Cooper's Sandwiches has opened on Southwest Parkway.

Four-story office building added as construction begins on Plano’s Mustang Square mixed-use project

A new four-story office building will headline a major mixed-use development in Plano, developers announced Oct. 2 as crews began work on the Mustang Square project.

The ATX Helps coalition launched with a press conference on Nov. 7.
A $14 million campaign and 300-bed shelter: Austin’s private sector leads new coalition to address homelessness

A coaltiion of private sector, non-profit and faith-based groups has formed to address Austin's homelessness crisis.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott
Gov. Greg Abbott announces plan for state-sanctioned homeless encampment off US 183 near Montopolis

John Wittman, Abbott's press secretary, said the land is as close to downtown as the state can provide.

Pease Elementary School
From Pease to boundaries, Austin ISD trustees discuss School Changes Version 2

Austin ISD trustees discussed closing of Pease, Metz, Brooke and Sims elementary schools, preserving district history and lessons learned from the School Changes process.

Dana DeBeauvoir at a press conference.
‘We cannot exist like this in a primary election': Travis County clerk says voter behavior, state law need to change ahead of 2020

Travis County's 2019 election results were not final until 3:40 a.m. the next morning due to a perfect storm of issues that the clerk said needs to be addressed before the 2020 election.

CommUnityCare sign
CommUnityCare purchases 5 Carousel Pediatrics locations in Central Texas

CommUnityCare Health Centers acquires Carousel Pediatrics

A photo of the storefront for Flooring Warehouse.
Flooring Warehouse opens new South Austin location

Flooring Warehouse has opened a new location in October.

Texas capitol
UPDATED: Here is how Texas voters weighed in on 10 state constitutional amendments on the ballot Nov. 5

Ten constitutional amendments went before voters in Texas on Election Day, Nov. 5.

Rudi Rosengarten, Wanda D. Reetz, Alfonso Carmona and Karen Medicus compete for three Sunset Valley City Council seats.
Final results: Rosengarten, Reetz, Medicus to serve on Sunset Valley City Council

Rudi Rosengarten, Wanda D. Reetz, Alfonso Carmona and Karen Medicus in close race for three Sunset Valley City Council seats.

Back to top