AUBURN, Al. (WRBL)— One Auburn barbershop has called North College Street it’s home for 53 years. Today, Nov. 21, marked their last day in the 400 square foot storefront that sits directly across from Toomer’s Corner and Auburn University.

The two barbers and owner that make up the Campus Barbershop spent their last day downtown doing the same thing they’ve done for 53 years, servicing the people of Auburn.

Carl Cochran has been the owner of Campus Barbershop for the last 15 years. He says about half of his clientele comes directly from Auburn University.

“It’s about 50-50. I’ve just enjoyed being close to campus, enjoyed the coaches and the athletes and the students coming in as well as the local people,” Cochran said.

He says despite their two-mile move, Cochran’s clients say they plan to follow him out there because they prefer the old-fashioned barber shop over other franchise salons.

The shop has seen three generations of Auburn families; some he remembers giving their first haircut. As Monday marked their last day at the North College Street location, some of his regulars spent the morning making memories.

“This morning, they just all went taking pictures of the outside just to remember the shop,” Cochran said.

Bubba Bowling has been cutting hair in the Auburn/Opelika area since 1969, the last 14 years he has spent with the Campus Barbershop downtown. He says at one-point, downtown Auburn had seven barbershops, their location being the last-standing.

“We’ve held out, hung in there. It’s been worth staying for, but now we have to leave downtown and it’s a sad occasion. I hate it, but you got to do what you got to do,” Bowling said.

He attributes the expanding cityscape and expensive rent for their move.

“They sold the building; they’re going to tear it down and build condos. They don’t have room for us anymore, and Carl, the owner, tried to find a place downtown and it was ridiculously high compared to what we’ve been paying here. We just had to find another place we could afford,” Bowling said.

The private project responsible for buying out their building is being carried out by an Auburn-based architectural practice, Stacy Norman Architects. WRBL has a call in to the practice to learn more about the plans for that area but are awaiting a response.

While it is a bittersweet moment for the local shop, barber Tommy King says he and his clients are excited for their new location at 1625 East University Drive.

“We’re excited about letting all our customers know that today is the last day of operation. We’re tearing it down tomorrow and doing what we can. We can’t move all that much, but we’ll move our chairs out there and move what we can,” King said. “A lot of the customers are very excited about not having to fight downtown traffic and everything. So, we’re hoping that’ll be we maintain all of our customers you know pick up a few new ones. I think the free parking and the abundance of parking is the biggest thing I am excited about.”

King has been with Campus Barbershop since Father’s Day of 2021. He cut hair for nearly 20 years from 1966 to 1981 before trying his hand in computer programming. The Opelika Tech programming certification took him across the southeast from Atlanta to New Orleans, to Miami. It wasn’t until 2021 when Cochran asked him to come back and cut hair.

King says being a barber is his passion, and he is excited to move to the new location at University Crossings because it is two miles closer in his daily commute from LaGrange.

Bowling says they’re moving from Suite 111 on North College St. to Suite 111 at East University Dr., which he is taking as a good sign.

All three barbers agree this is the end of an era for their downtown location, they are excited to continue their Auburn Legacy at their new location at University Crossing.

“We appreciate everybody’s business, and we hope that they will continue coming, being loyal to us out at University Crossing on East University Drive,” King said.

Cochran says they plan to open up their new shop located at 1625 East University Dr. Suite 111 on Dec. 1.