It’s the only barbershop in the world with a live music stage, and probably one of the only places in the Cape Fear Region you can get a haircut fit for a king. The king of rock and roll that is.
10 years ago Mark Sinnus decided it was time for a career change.
He was a photographer living in New York at the time when he decided he wanted to take a shot at becoming a barber.
He went to school, got his license and opened Beale Street Barber Shop shortly after that.
Sinnus played and wrote his own music. He knew he wanted to incorporate that and photography into his barber shop as well.
Two years ago, Sinnus brought his business down to the Cape Fear region to enjoy the small town feel and a more relaxed way of life. He is now located on S. 17th street in downtown Wilmington and says the response from the community has been great ever since.
Sinnus grew up listening to Rock and Roll. It was his mom’s favorite music, so it was always on.
That’s how he came up with the name Beale Street for his barber shop.
“A lot of early blues artists started there,” Sinnus said. “And really that’s where music historians say that the seeds of rock and roll were planted. So that name just fit perfectly for what I was doing.”
And as soon as you step foot into the barber shop, you can tell it’s no secret that Elvis has the number one spot in Sinnus’s heart when it comes to rock and roll… And hair.
“Since Elvis was one of the first modern rock stars who made haircuts so important, I made him my poster boy and you can see him everywhere around the shop.”
Sinnus uses Elvis and other rock and roll and blues artists of those times as inspirations for his signature haircuts.
“Being that fades are really big right now, I do a lot of those, but I also do a lot of pompadours and I’ve almost morphed the two,” Sinnus said. “So I’ll do a fade at the bottom and an Elvis style pompadour at the top. So I do a lot of those more retro haircuts.”
Sinnus is aware that his haircuts are becoming famous around the Cape Fear region and people are starting to spot them anywhere.
“A friend of mine was on a plane the other day and she was like, ‘That’s one of Mark’s haircuts.’ So even if it isn’t mine, [people] really think of a certain, classic cut and they associate it with Beale Street.”
But Beale Street isn’t just about the haircuts. It’s also the only barber shop in the Cape Fear with a live music stage. Sinnus has local musicians preform at the shop on the weekends.
He says he wants the shop to be known as a venue where original songwriters can showcase their talent because he feels there are becoming less and less venues for musicians to perform their original songs.
“I’m not concerned with their following. I’m not concerned if they pack the place. This is more about building community for the neighborhood.”
Sinnus also showcases local artists and photographers work on the walls of his shop and holds art galleries every few months.
Combining all his passions, Sinnus says it’s rewarding to see the expression on peoples faces when they walk into the shop.
“It’s nice to see new people walk in and see their expression. Kind of makes me enjoy what I’ve created.”