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Armstrong's Grooming, Shave Parlor

Kelsey and Jason Armstrong stand behind one of the barber chairs at Armstrong's Grooming & Shave Parlor in Mattoon on Jan. 29.

MATTOON -- The new Armstrong's Grooming & Shave Parlor aims to offer clients an old-fashioned barber experience, including hot lather shaves.

Mattoon natives Jason and Kelsey Armstrong opened this barbershop on Nov. 29 at 1920 Western Ave., Suite B, across the parking lot from County Market. Jason Armstrong said he previously worked as a barber in Tuscola for nearly three years, but had long wanted to own and operate a barbershop under his own name in his hometown.

"We are glad to be back home," Armstrong said, adding that many of his customers from Tuscola have followed him to the Mattoon location.

Armstrong said he and his wife are excited to have the opportunity to open the barbershop in space made available by their former Mattoon High School classmate, Troy Walker, who is the property owner and manager.

The Grooming & Shave Parlor is scheduled to move south at 1920 Western to Suite C sometime this spring after this space is renovated. Armstrong said Walker has offered to create his "dream barbershop" there.

Clients can get haircuts, beard trims, and shaves at Armstrong's barber shop, where all services are finished with a hot lather neck shave. Armstrong said he also strives to offer a friendly, relaxed atmosphere where clients can socialize with him and each other.

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"We are trying to bring back the old-fashioned barbershop," Armstrong said. The Mattoon native said he has loved this atmosphere ever since his childhood, when he listened to barbershop talk at Lyle's Family Barbershop in Mattoon and helped sweep the floors there.

Armstrong said he pursued a career in this field by obtaining his education in 2014 from the award-winning Lockhart's Barber College in Decatur, a school that was founded by Brandon Lockhart. Ever since then, Armstrong said he has enjoyed working as a barber and getting to know his clients.

"I love it. It's the best job in the world," Armstrong said. "I build relationships with my clients. I don't like to say 'clients' because they are friends."

In addition to barber and shave services, the shop sells Kelsey Armstrong's line of Armstrong Gentlemen's Care products. She said her beard oil, beard wash, shave soap and other products are 100 percent natural.

While working in Tuscola, Armstrong said he often hosted live music at his barbershop for clients to enjoy while they waited for their haircut or shave. Armstrong said he plans to carry on this practice at his new shop. Clients may also see the couple's English bulldog, Connor, at the shop when he pays one of his frequent visits there.

Armstrong's Grooming & Shave Parlor is open 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 1:30-5 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday each week. More information is available by calling the shop at 217-235-1920 or by visiting the Armstrong's Grooming & Shave Parlor page on Facebook.

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Contact Rob Stroud at (217) 238-6861. Follow him on Twitter: @TheRobStroud

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Reporter

Rob Stroud is a reporter for the JG-TC, covering the city of Mattoon, Lake Land College, Cumberland County and areas including Oakland, Casey and Martinsville.

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