‘From the Gegent’ is a series of articles featuring businesses, services and the people behind them in the Crown Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn. Presented by Mica Soffer, owner and publisher of community news service COLlive.com and neighborhood directory gegent.com:
Levi Aronov is the newest and possibly youngest entrepreneur in Crown Heights to open a storefront store in the Brooklyn neighborhood that is home to a large population of Chabad Chassidim and Lubavitch World Headquarters.
Proudly sporting a full black beard himself, the 24-year-old is becoming known as the Railroad Barber, which is the name of the new barbershop he recently opened on Troy Avenue.
Typically opening his door at 10:00 AM, Aronov spends the day conversing with customers, as he helps many of them retain their distinctive facial look with payos (sidelocks) and a beard.
But working with a pair of scissors and a clipper in hand isn’t a new task for this native of Postville. At the age of 16, Aronov cut the hair of his classmates while learning in Chabad Yeshivos in Monsey and Miami. He did a fine job, and bochurim kept coming back, earning him useful pocket-money.
Years after graduating Yeshiva, Aronov tried his hand at other industries like real estate and car leasing and ended up one day pondering his future with minus $41 in his bank account. He soon realized that his best bet would be to go to school for hair cutting and “do it right.”
At the age of 20, Aronov enrolled in Tribeca Barber School, which led to jobs at 2 different barbershops. He soon began doing house-call hair cuts for customers, doing about 500 appointments in one year, he says.
His goal was to open a barbershop, and he realized that goal even earlier than planned.
With the assistance of his mother (who is very handy, he notes), Aronov opened his own barbershop just before Pesach promising his clients the same pleasant and relaxing experience he offered them when he visited their home or office.
The shop feels like you are in your grandmother’s living room, with genuine antiques from various states from Maryland to New Jersey lining the walls, and stuffed soft couches and armchairs conducive to a good and comforting chat.
“I wanted a place with an older feel, where people could relax and feel comfortable,” Aronov told COLlive.com. “People were going out of Crown Heights for this type of experience, and I wanted to offer this service in the neighborhood.”
Aronov makes it a point to note that he has great respect for the longtime barbers on Kingston Avenue “who have been doing this forever,” he says.
He specializes in personal attention and extra time given to each customer.
“I take pride in my work. When the customer walks out of here, it’s my name on that cut,” Aronov says. “People always get compliments on my haircuts, because I spend the time on each one,” he says.
He highly recommends making an appointment, since walk-in appointments at his shop are rarely available, due to the demand.
“I take the time to give a pleasant, calm experience to my customers, and so the price is a little higher, but people really appreciate the personalized service,” he says. “Instead of waiting on a long line outside the shop, it’s best to make an appointment and come in just for that.”
People tend to get very comfortable while sitting in the barber’s chair, and love to talk about what’s going on in their lives, so Aronov is mulling an idea to launch a podcast featuring conversations with customers called Conversations in the Barber Chair. “It will be an organic conversation, about many different topics – depending on who the customer is,” he says.
And if you think the barbershop is just for the adult crowd, Aronov points out that 20 to 30 percent of his customers are children.
“The kids need to feel safe and learn that a haircut doesn’t have to be scary,” he says. “With just some patience you can get a child to be ok with sitting down in the chair and get a haircut without all the drama and crying.”
With the Three Weeks now over, when haircuts are not taken in mourning for the destruction of Jerusalem, Aronov is back in the shop cementing his reputation as the Railroad Barber.
The Railroad Barber
409 Troy Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11213
For appointments visit:
Gegent.com is a unique and highly informative directory of community businesses and services to help consumers’ daily activities and needs. Click here to add your business now.
Wishing you allot of Hatzloche !
Y & O Zirkind
Thank you COL for highlighting one of the most driven and talented young businessman in Crown Heights.
His store is classy and always clean, the level service is so above anywhere else in town.
Menachem W – Local resident.
I Travel all the way from Philly just to get a haircut by him
And it’s worth the trip EVERY TIME
Levi had a vision of servicing his clients with dignity and professionalism. He loves his clients which is apparent in the care he gives each and every individual and treats everyone equally. As a token of his appreciation for each patron he offers a complimentary bottle of beer. Go check it out. You’ll be glad you did.
Store looks so nice and the owner seems like such a mentsch and respectful. much hatzlacha!!
Levi is the best!!
everything amazing to the detail!
Not just an incredible shop and haircut, but also an incredible man. Not gonna lie….it’s really a wonderful experience, every time! Totally worth coming.
What a beautiful fantastic article. Wishing you all that the success in the world.
Heshy Weitz Philadelphia PA.
Best barber in Brooklyn!!!
What a beautiful article about you Levi. Very impressive. Hatzlacha Rabba 👏👏👍👍👍😍😍😍
Very impressive to realize real estate & Amazon will leave you with $41. Invest in yourself, invest in your future!
What an experience! Levi is such a nice, pleasant and caring guy. Great ambiance and conversation. Grab a beer or water bottle and get the best haircut ever. And wait… You get a hot towel massage too! Ahhhhhhhhhh! So well worth every penny! I can’t wait for my hair to grow in so I can pay him another visit.
I used to travel out of CH for my haircuts, now with Railroad Barber I can get high quality cuts, and convo locally.
Thank you Levi Aronov!
I wish you much hatzlacha.
Mica, thank you once again for interviewing one of CH’s finest and giving us the full scope and such a nice array of pictures to illustrate your point. The Railroad Barber is one of the best things that happened to Troy Avenue and really picks up the real estate value there. Levi is the best and should have tremendous hatzlacha!
I’ve gone to many many barbers some that have been doing this for over 35+ years and hands down Levi is the best I’ve ever had the pleasure to get my haircut by!
Some barbers take 10+years to master the art but Levi has a natural talent for cutting hair and paying attention to detail.