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Thursday, January 26, 2023

Going Old School

When Nicholas Goodman moved back to Evansville in 2010, he wanted to accomplish three things: start a family, buy a house, and open a business.

So far, he and his wife, JoAnn, are three for three. Their baby was born in late March, they bought a house, and they started a business on the same property.

Old Town Ladies and Gents opened its doors on Feb. 2 and is situated on the main floor of their 1889 Victorian home at 400 SE Second St.

“The name was chosen out of recognition to the old Downtown Evansville,” Goodman says. “And it just had a nice ring to me.”

Growing up in Evansville, Goodman says he has always loved the Downtown area because of the city’s potential. After graduating from F.J. Reitz High School, he then went on to pursue an art degree from the University of Southern Indiana, graduating in 2005. Goodman then moved to Santa Rosa, Calif., to be a carpenter.

“I couldn’t find work out West, so I came back to Evansville,” he says. “But then I couldn’t find work here, either, so I began thinking about a new profession. I have messed around with hair since back in my middle and high school days, doing fades and cutting a majority of my friends’ hair, and I got into it a lot more in college. So I thought, ‘Why not pursue hair cutting?’” Both Goodman’s grandmothers were professional hairdressers, and his father, Charles Goodman, also cut Goodman’s hair growing up — so you could say it runs in the family.

Goodman then found himself going to school on the East Side at Salon Professional Academy, where he received his license. He moved to Portland, Ore., for 1 ½ years before returning to Evansville. He and JoAnn finally settled on their current location after looking at numerous places around the Downtown area.

“I did a lot of remodeling and restoring to the house to get it back to its Victorian look,” he says. “With a lot of help from family and friends, I was pecking away on an average of about 70 hours a week.”

Meanwhile, Goodman also was hired as an instructor at the Salon Professional Academy, where he found his staff, Anna Iaccarino and Brooke Slaton.

“(They) were both students of mine, and I picked them out of several hundred students because they showed great potential,” he says.

Besides the refinished hardwood floors and the other beautiful renovations, customers will also notice antiques ranging from vintage barber chairs to a chrome hair dryer from the 1950’s. “I’m wanting to help bring back the mom and pop shops that used to bring the Downtown area to life,” he says. “I’m hoping Old Town can generate enough clients to where I can pursue opening a second location.”

Old Town Ladies and Gents can be reached at 812-449-0706. The business also has a Facebook page.

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