No phone, no web site, no email, no nonsense, just good haircuts at a reasonable price. Ye Old Clip Joint in Upper Falls has been a barber shop for over 100 years. Current proprietor, Sol Cohen, is a newcomer though – he’s only been there since 1965 and Mike Boucher, his haircutting partner, has been there since 2006
When I first moved to Upper Falls I needed to find a new barber and scored big time when I discovered Sol’s. It’s everything I like in a barber – good haircut and reasonable prices of course … but also it’s the neighborhood crossroads and repository of local history and lore. Sol has been at the center of the village for years and has cut generations of Upper Falls’s hair. If you mention any Upper Falls event or incident in the last 50 years, Sol most likely will have a good story for you because one of his customers was inevitably in the middle of it.
On my first visit, while waiting my turn, I stumbled on a thick stack of clipped together 8x10 pages. It was a Xeroxed version of Ken Newcomb’s original manuscript of “Makers of the Mold – A History of Newton Upper Falls”. Ken Newcomb was an old friend and regular at the barber shop for many years and wrote a definitive history of the neighborhood. Sol can tell you dozens of stories about how Ken was involved with everything in the neighborhood and his struggles and head butting with city hall over the years.
Likewise, the shop is decorated with a mishmash of all sorts of interesting, photos, drawings, newspaper clipping etc of Upper Falls over the years. Ye Old Clip Joint serves as the unofficial repository of neighborhood history and Sol is the head historian.
I was in there a few months back when a mother brought a young toddler and asked if Sol would cut his hair. She told Sol that the boy’s recently deceased grandfather had got his hair cut at Sol’s for many, many years. She wanted her son to carry on the tradition. Mike was looking a bit dubious but Sol didn’t think twice about taking on a toddler in the barber chair and no doubt the little boy will be a regular at Sol’s for many years to come.
As for the haircuts – you can’t go wrong with either Mike or Sol. I alternate between them and have never got a bad cut.
Though Ye Old Clip Joint has no web site and doesn’t appear in the majority of on-line lists of Newton barber shops, I did find this on-line review of one satisfied customer who seems to sum it up nicely:
“ Sol is easily the best real barber in Newton. A real barbershop - no techno music, no black clad hairdressers. Just real barbers giving great haircuts!” ***** (five stars)