The Brookside Business Association is honored to recognize Suzanne Noland as our 2019 Mrs. Irish. Suzanne “O’Noland” (as she will be known during the 39th Annual Brookside St. Patrick’s Warm-Up Parade) has owned the Brookside Barber Shop for 30 years this month. She runs the shop with the support of 6 other barbers and can’t imagine life without it. “I’m very dedicated to the community and my heart is with the shop. We truly want to be the best we can be.” She and her team pride themselves on quality service and the way they treat their customers. Although little has changed inside the store over the decades, Suzanne and her staff stay up on current trends on men’s and women’s hair styles. Whether you want the “Mahomes,” a bob or bangs, or a classic style like the flat top, pompadour or Princeton - they’re ready.
Suzanne’s connection to the barber shop began with her husband Sonny who worked in under the prior owner Glen Russel starting in 1980. Glen passed away in 1989 and Suzanne and Sonny bought the business that March. Excited to carry on the legacy, they were only the 4th owners of the barber shop which is the original and only tenant at 308 W 63rd St. After buying the business, Suzanne jumped right in, attending school and becoming a barber herself in January 1990. Together she and Sonny ran the store together until 2005 when he passed away.
30 years is filled with memories. Suzanne could write a book about all the great stories, but her favorite memories are of the comradery, fun and chatter that takes place each day. “It’s like a gathering place where generations of customers know each other. Everyone’s happy to see each other. Some remember the barbers that gave them their first haircut. It’s like Brookside’s own Cheers or Mayberry.” It’s also about the friendships built over the years. “It’s so upbeat. I have thousands of 20 minute monthly friends. It’s like family and it’s wonderful to catch up on how they’re doing. We really love our customers.” She also loves the connection to the past and learning about the generations served. “Recently a customer stopped in after 75 years away and recalled the place was just the same as it was then. People love the store exactly as it is.”
So, the next time you’re in Brookside, walk in - you’ll have to since they never take appointments. Don’t worry though – the wait is never long, and you’ll be treated like family. Whether you’re a first-time customer or been coming there for decades, you’re going to love Suzanne and her staff. And while you’re there be sure to check out the historic photos on the wall, ask to view the original display case seen in the 1930’s photos, and be ready for stories about decades of Kansas City celebrities like Mayor Wheeler who after learning Suzanne ran the shop “Suzanne you run a fine establishment. Fine! Fine!” I think you’ll agree. Congratulations Suzanne!
Learn more about the Brookside Barber Shop on Facebook @BrooksideBarberShopKC.