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Shown is owner Blake Strong of UB's Barber Shop & Shave Parlor, 3304 Marshall Ave., Mattoon.

MATTOON -- Local barber Blake Strong recently opened his UB's Barber Shop & Shave Parlor at 3304 Marshall Ave.

Strong said becoming a barber is something he always had in mind while growing up in Mattoon and he fulfilled his goal after training in this field at Lockharts Barber College in Decatur.

"I graduated from there and decided to come back to Mattoon and open my own shop," Strong said.

This full-service barber shop takes its name from Strong's family nickname of "UB," which he got for being Uncle Blake and for being a big fan of John Candy's "Uncle Buck" movie. Strong said the name is a way to bring some of his own personality to the business.

UB's provides haircuts, razor fades, shampoo cleaning and beard trimming. Strong said he wants to cater to the growing number of men who have beards. The shop also offers full straight razor shaves with hot towels and foam.

"I really wanted to bring (straight razor shaves) back because it has made a resurgence. That is something I feel guys really enjoy," Strong said. "It's bringing back the old shaving traditions. I wanted to do that for Mattoon and the surrounding area. A lot of people enjoy it. I have quite a few people who do return for it. I have had a lot of first timers and a lot of guys who have not had it in years and want to try it again."

The shop is located in the front office of a building that was home to the Xtreme Armor automotive and truck accessories business a few years ago. Strong said he is an auto and motorcycle enthusiast, so he has incorporated his interests into the decorations for his shop.

UB's Barber Shop & Shave Parlor is located next to Taco Amigos restaurant. Strong said some of his customers have placed orders at the restaurant and then gotten haircuts in time for their food to be ready. The shop takes walk-in customers. More information is available by calling 217-259-4515 or by looking up the UB's Barber Shop & Shave Parlor on Facebook.

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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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