LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - As we say goodbye to 2019, many in the Highlands and really all around the city of Louisville will be saying goodbye to an old friend.
The Loop Barber Shop, the oldest barbershop in Louisville, which opened in 1926 on Douglass Boulevard, will still be open in the Douglass Loop, but its longtime owner is hanging up his scissors, for now.
Leroy Farmer is a bit of a legend.
“Do you want it relatively short on the sides and the back?” Farmer asked a regular customer on Monday. Farmer, known simply for his first name, is also known for his cuts, cutting up and providing all the buzz around town.
Elliott Case, 11, told WAVE 3 News he gets all the latest gossip from Leroy.
“I mean Leroy does know everything that’s going on in the neighborhood,” said Case’s mom, Christy Case, whose brother has been going to Leroy for more than three decades.
Leroy has taken care of the heads of some well-known Louisvillians over the years, from Valhalla Golf Club founder Dwight Gahm to Kentucky Rep. John Yarmuth, from radio talk show host Terry Meiners to former UofL Cardinal Anas Mahmoud. Even some WAVE 3 News personalities have sat in one of Leroy’s chairs.
“Of course -- Kent Taylor,” he said. Now in the shop, more than jokes about haircuts are posted around the joint. Retirement cards from longtime customers thank Leroy for nearly a quarter-century of cuts and conversations.
“It’s bittersweet,” he said. “I didn’t realize until I started telling my customers that I was retiring, how emotional that would be.”
“We’re going to miss him a lot,” Case said. Moving close to family and friends in Henderson, Ky., Leroy will leave the place in good hands, as co-worker Chad Franklin takes over.
“It’s sometimes hard to leave things behind,” Leroy said.
As The Loop dictates, there are no appointments so Leroy doesn’t know who will be his final Louisville customer, and that’s exactly as he wants it.
“You don’t know who the last person will be until you’ve locked that door at 6 o’clock,” he said. Leroy said he plans to travel, but anticipates getting a little bored in retirement, so he plans to cut hair part-time for fun a couple of days a week at Lee’s Barbershop in Henderson.
Again, The Loop is staying open as Leroy finalizes the sale in a few days. So if you want to stop by and say goodbye, he would love to see you.