By LARRY VAUGHT
Mt. AIRY, N.C. — If you ever watched the Andy Griffith Show — and who hasn’t — then you know that Floyd’s Barbereshop was the downtown hangout for the men who did as much talking as they did getting haircuts and shaves.
The barber and owner was Floyd Lawson — and he was a lovable character even if he was a bit eccentric.
When I got to Mayberry — oops, make that Mt. Airy – Wednesday one of the first places I headed was Floyd’s City Barber Shop on Main Street. I am glad I did, too.
Bill Hiatt stayed open a few extra minutes to show off the piece of history to me. His father, Russell Hiatt, cut hair in the shop for over 62 years and must have taken thousands of pictures based on all that remain on the shop’s walls.
You can still get a hair cut there four days a week and the shop is open five days a week to accommodate visitors. But hair cut or not, this place was a treasure.
“My dad was the last living barber in town to cut Andy’s hair,” Bill Hiatt said. “Everything in here is still original. The chairs, mirrors, cash register. They have all been here 88 years.”
The shop draws a wide range of visitors. Hiatt said tourists from every state have visited as well as tourists from at least 60 foreign countries. Some want a hair cut. Most just want a look at history.
You can buy T-shirts, postcards (I did that to send immediately to my mother to make her day when they arrive) and other items to remember your visit. Or you can just take photos of the pictures and signs (I did that, too).
“We just want people to come in and see what we have here,” Hiatt said. “I love telling anyone about the history of the shop.”
The shop is located at 200 N. Main Street (27030) and you can call 336-786-2346.
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Here’s another great thing about visiting Floyd’s City Barber Shop. Nearby is Miss Angel’s Heavenly Pies.
I cannot begin to describe how many yummy things one can find to enjoy in his unique shop that features fruits grown by “Miss Angel.” And get this — some of her pies and ice cream contain moonshine for just an added bit of taste/kick.
I especially liked the five-inch “cutie-pies” that come in 28 flavors. The woman working the counter Wednesday explained how the pies and other baked goods are always fresh and custom orders are welcome.
You can also find cheesecake, cream pies, cakes, gourmet cookies that were hard to walk away from, and a bunch of brownies.
Miss Angels Heavenly Pies is also part of the Surry Sonker Trail (www.sonkertrail.org). Sonker is similar to cobbler in that it consists of cooked fruit and a crust. But every family recipe is a little different and some may even have a liquid batter poured on the fruit and others have a rolled dough.
At this shop, the Sonker is a Zonker because moonshine is used but all I know is that the blackberry Zonker was delicious. I also know we are going to be bringing home at least two loaves of the bread and four “cutie-pies” when we leave Friday.
The shop is located at 153 North Main Street. Call 336-786-1537 for info.
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We capped our day with a great meal at Old North State Winery in downtown Mt. Airy. Nothing standard about this place. It’s a former hardware store built in the 1890’s and now has a tasting bar, live entertainment often and plenty of room for dining along with a private room for parties (a tour bus took that route while we were there).
The food was great. My wife had a chicken quesadilla and could only eat one of the two brought to her. On the excellent recommendation of our server, India, I had the Scottish salmon.
“I don’t know where they get that salmon, but it’s the best ever,” India told me when I was trying to decide what to have.
She was right, too.
The winery is also part of the Sonker Trail and we brought a strawberry one home with us before I got on with James White and Jason Jones of WLBQ (101.5 FM) in Morganfield to mainly talk University of Kentucky sports but we also relived my first day in heaven/Mayberry.
You can find the winery at 308 North Main Street. Call 336-789-9463.
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AND GET THIS. PLENTY OF FREE PARKING IS AVAILABLE EVERYWHERE IN THE HISTORIC DOWNTON.
Coming Thursday: Squad car tour, Wally’s service station, jail, Snappy Lunch, tea with Aunt Bea at the Mayberry Motor Inn and more.