Northwest NEWS

April 26, 1999


Frank's Barber Shop closes doors after 28 years

One of the last haircuts Frank Navin gave at his barber shop last week was to long-time customer Dick Monroe.

   The doors of Frank's Barber Shop, a Woodinville institution for 28 years, were closed for good last Saturday. After 48 years of barbering, owner Frank Navin is retiring.

   "I learned barbering at Moler Barber College in Seattle, after serving in the U.S. Air Force," Navin said.

   After getting his barber's license, Navin was employed as a barber instructor at Moler, where he spent 13 years, including five years as manager. "I have trained many of the barbers who have shops throughout the Northwest," he said.

   Navin worked for several years at different shops in the Greater Seattle area. He opened Frank's Barber Shop on April 13, 1971 in the small building on NE 175th next to what was then Woodinville Motors. Today, the shop is just west of Woodinville City Hall.

   "Frank would always remember me on Secretary's Day with flowers or candy," said Ann, his wife of 30 years. Even though she worked full-time at the Department of Corrections in Monroe, she faithfully helped keep the books for the barber shop throughout the years.

   The shop has not changed in any way since it opened. It still has one chair, one sink, eight brown straight chairs, a coat rack, and a railroad calendar on the wall.

   "I have cut thousands of heads of hair these past years," said Navin, "from a 6-month-old to one spry 98-year-old."

   Navin, well-known for his dry sense of humor and his never-ending political advice, has always had a soft heart and has traveled to homes and hospitals to cut the hair of customers who were unable to come into the shop. This was just one of the ways he gave back to the community.

   A steady man with a reputation for treating all customers the same, Navin has built a customer base with what he calls his own "social club."

   "My father always looked forward to delivering the paper and the times he had his hair cut by Frank. He was able to tell his many jokes and pick up some new ones," said Carol Edwards, publisher of the Woodinville Weekly.

   Looking for several years for a regular barber to buy the business, Navin found no takers in time for his scheduled retirement. The chair and supplies are going into storage this week. The Navins plan to do some traveling and relaxing and visit the Midwest. They will continue to reside in Monroe. Their mailing address is P.O. Box 143, Woodinville, WA 98072. Their phone number is (360) 794-1192.