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Sweet P's barber shop part of rich Over-the-Rhine history

Posted at 8:15 PM, Dec 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-28 00:42:28-05

CINCINNATI – Sweet P’s barber shop has been a part of the rich life and history of Over-the-Rhine for more than 43 years.

Some of the same loyal customers drop in at 1439 Elm St. to get a cut and conversation from the same barbers who opened the place on June 24, 1974.

 “The name Sweet P was given to me as a small kid,” the owner says. “I decided I'd like to have my own shop. My wife and I talked about that and she said, ‘Well, what you wanna do, do it.’”

He remembers that was one of the first African-American businesses in Over-the-Rhine, 

Sweet P says there's more to the business that giving a good cut.

“Part of this business is knowing about the people that come in," he said as he lathered a customer's head with shaving cream. "I'm giving him a bald cut, but it may take me a while because we talk."

Customer: “When I get out of here, I’m going home to sleep."

Sweet P: "Well. I heard you. This is relaxing . This will put you back to sleep."

"I'm 82 years of age and I still do what I do, whether it's a short day or a long day," says Sweet P. "If it's a short day, well, I’m thankful. If it's a long day, I'm thankful."

WATCH Sweet P and the other barbers at work and hear from some customers in the video player above.