When Genuine Gents opened its doors on Beverley's Butcher Row for the first time in February, the owner had little notion they'd have to shut only a few weeks later as Covid-19 lockdown restrictions kicked in.
Since Ozgar Dogan re-opened again on July 4 this unique barbers has been making a name for itself as the latest addition to the town's men's hairdressing scene.
Ozgar attributes their survival and success to his team's never-say-die attitude. "We stuck in there. We stayed positive and always believed we would come out the other side and start building the business for the future," said Ozgar, who works alongside Brian Nosa and Benar Majid.
"We have invested so much time, effort, care and energy into launching Genuine Gents, let alone the financial input, that we simply could not just give up - no matter the uncertainty we all faced.
"We wanted to show that we had some thing different here at Genuine Gents, a high quality, family and community oriented place where all are welcome; we wanted to prove we were a cut above the rest. And so far, Genuine Gents looks to be achieving just that with a five-star Google review rating from customers who come away impressed with Genuine Gents full barbers service, including hair cut (with free hairwash); wet shave (with free hot towel massage steamer); wax ear and nose; beard shape and beard trim, and reduced price special offers for pensioners and children.
For Ozgar, who has lived in Beverley for the last 15 years, Genuine Gents harks back to his early life growing up in a Kurdish village in mountainous eastern Turkey, when he used to go to the barbers with his father, whose photo hangs on the wall at the back of the shop.
"It was one of the most memorable parts of my childhood,"adds Ozgar, "listening to the older men in the village talk to each other, the tea and the coffee, and stories as sharp as the scissors; it was never 'just a haircut'. I wanted to create that same spirit here."