We had the good fortune of connecting with Brian Girgus and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brian, what are you inspired by?
Inspiration comes to me in the most random forms. Endurance and longevity in anything is something I always find to be awe inspiring. Doesn’t matter if it’s a business that’s been there for 30 years, a couple that’s been together for ages, or a baseball player’s career. You know that to get anything to last that long you have to weather some bad times and some bad feeling here and there. I think one of the real tests is to not be too reactionary to anything. If you can omit that impulse even just a little you get the option to put in some real time with people or practices that you can benefit from in the long run. No easy feat obviously but I think the older I get, the better I get at it,
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
From the moment that I opened the shop I knew that we had to take our work seriously (but not too seriously), constantly provide a good service, keep the shop clean and respect our customers. This is somehow not a common idea and I am always seeking out like minds. Barbers have come and gone but the crew right now is awesome. They create a great work environment, strike a good work/personal life balance, and they respect their work and they respect that the clients keep the thing together and pay our bills. We have been in the neighborhood long enough now that people know what to expect from us and the crew knows what it takes to provide that.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
First thing, we’d head over to Delia’s on York Blvd. and get chilaquiles for breakfast. Then we’d drive down the PCH and go to Pt. Dume, maybe get a beer over at the cafe that’s right there on the beach, The Sunset I think it’s called. After the 4 hour drive (ha) back I’d probably drag them to Columbo’s in Eagle Rock or maybe Elf Cafe on Sunset Blvd. Maybe a drink at Bandini or Walt’s after…maybe just straight home to chill out. The next day we’d surely take a drive out to the desert, go thrifting in Upland or Pomona on the way out. We’d maybe get a beer at Pappy and Harriet’s and a french fry burrito from Castaneda’s or something once we got up towards Joshua Tree and Yucca Valley. I love going out to the desert. I’m from there and everything about it seems to blow people’s minds so I’m always down to go out there. When I have friends visit LA I always like to show them the natural beauty of the place. Places like Griffith Park, Malibu, Elysian Park, Topanga Canyon, a drive up the Angeles Crest Hwy. It’s nice to mess with peoples preconceived notions about LA. The last day I’d probably try to go see if the renovation of the Watts Towers was complete. That’s another really cool place in LA. After that maybe we’ roam around some more before getting dinner at Joy on York Blvd. My friend still texts me asking when I’m going to get the Thousand Layer Pancake again. He’s eating vicariously through me.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My good friend, Jeff in Brooklyn, New York. This dude is the number one reason I was able to open up The New California Barbershop. I’m not sure how I would have done it without him. From the beginning of barber school he kept telling me that he’d be there when I wanted to open a shop and 10 years later he was. He kept the vision alive at some pretty dark times for me. I definitely owe him more than just money. Hahaha!