Meet mother and daughter pair, Rhonda McElveen and Regina Polson. Rhonda owns and cuts hair at the Arcade Barber Shop, located on E. College Avenue, and Regina helps run it. Regina is studying hair under her mother, and plans to continue the family business for many years to come.
One of our oldest businesses in the Main Street Hartsville District, the Arcade Barber Shop originated on the first floor of the Arcade Hotel in 1919. Later, Mr. Jimmy Hodges brought the Arcade Barber Shop over to College Avenue in the 1960’s and has been its home ever since. They even have a sign from the original Barber Shop hanging in their place.
“My mom, Rhonda McElveen, is the owner of the Arcade Barber Shop. She worked alongside Mr. Jimmy Hodges for over 20 years. Before that, she barbered 20 years for different branches of military bases, Sumter Air Force base and the Navy base in Groton, CT. She has devoted so many years into our community and keeping the Arcade Barber Shop a true, small town barber shop, holding on to as much of its classic, old school charm as possible.
I joined the business with her a little over a year ago. She has taught me so much and continues to. It’s wonderful to work alongside her every day and know that the shop will continue to be such a family friendly place for our town. While we weren’t directly related to Mr. Jimmy, he always treated us as family.” Mr. Jimmy Hodges was an institution at the Arcade Barber Shop for 52 years. Other barbers who have worked at the Arcade Barber Shop over the years include Mr. Stewart, Mr. Joe Howle, and Mr. Lloyd Davis, who was the original owner of the Arcade Barber Shop.
The Arcade Barber Shop is one of the last “old school” barber shops left in downtown Hartsville. They don’t book appointments, just walk-ins, and only accept cash. Regina says that’s how you can tell the difference between an old school barber shop and newer ones. They’ve never received any complaints about this; most customers find it charming. “It’s such a hidden gem full of small town history,” says Regina.
The future of the Arcade Barber Shop looks much like it has for the last 100 years. Rhonda and Regina consider their old school style of hair care a success and plan to continue on in this way for many years to come. Main Street Hartsville is proud to have the Arcade Barber Shop in our downtown community, and looks forward to many years of success for this business.
Business Name: Arcade Barber Shop
Year Opened: 1919 in Arcade Hotel, moved to College Avenue in the 1960’s
Owner Name: Rhonda McElveen and Regina Polson
Business Address: 110 E. College Ave