Geneva's City Barbershop reopens with new owner

Vintage theme includes 1920 barber chairs

GENEVA – When the coronavirus pandemic shuttered City Barbershop, 218 W. State St., Geneva, barber Barbara Olson saw an opportunity to run her own shop.

With 40 years of experience as a barber she took the plunge. She negotiated the lease and set about remodeling it so it would look like a vintage barber shop.

“So far, it’s looking good,” Olson, a resident of Wayne, said of her Oct. 5 opening. “I have three 1920 barber chairs … and the original barber pole.”

Her grandpa and grandma were barbers with their own shops in Chicago and her two brothers are barbers, also with their own shops.

The barber chairs are passed down from her grandparents’ shop.

Her father was a barber and had his own shop for a while, as well she said.

“We have a long family history of barbering,” Olson said. “

And that kind of carries on the long history of City Barbershop in Geneva.

That storefront in the 1915 building has been a barbershop for over 100 years, 75 of them from the same family, Olson said.

Because of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, Olson has customers observe social distancing, wearing masks, she wears gloves, hand sanitizer provided and everything is sanitized between customers.

“I just wanted it to be a community place,” Olson said, acknowledging that a barbershop often served as a gathering place. Not so much during covid, however.

“I hope to restore that,” Olson said. “A few come in and sit around and talk. The mailman chats for a bit.”

More information is available by calling 630-244-8062 or visiting by

She is planning a ribbon cutting and grand opening at a future date.