ADRIAN REYES WORKS ON Jeremie Buck of Topsham. Reyes provides a full range of services, including specialty cuts, fades and beard grooming.

ADRIAN REYES WORKS ON Jeremie Buck of Topsham. Reyes provides a full range of services, including specialty cuts, fades and beard grooming.

BRUNSWICK

Inside Kings and Queens Barbershop and Salon on Maine Street, Adrian Reyes carefully sculpts a customer’s beard with a straight razor. Since his recent grand opening, business has been nonstop for the young self-taught barber who just a year ago had to coax customers off the street.

Reyes started cutting hair professionally about a year ago at Starz, just a block away. With no clientele to speak of, he began handing out fliers and offering free haircuts.

“Hey you, come here — let me give you a free haircut. You have nothing to lose. If you don’t like it, I’ll pay you,” was Reyes’ first sales pitch. Within three months, Reyes said his following took off — this time, with paying customers.

It wasn’t long before Bowdoin College students took notice.

“Now I’m the number one barber with the Bowdoin students. They’re all from out of state, so I’m literally the only barber in Brunswick that does what they look for — specialty haircuts and straight razor action and all that good stuff,” Reyes said.

A jack of all trades, Reyes went to school to be a composite technician, spent some time in culinary arts and he took a turn in construction. All the while he was cutting his own hair — and getting good enough at it that others took notice.

“It was just one of those hobbies that I never, in a million years, thought it would become this,” Reyes said.

Now cutting hair in the former Pennel’s store where he bought his first Carhartt’s while working construction, Reyes points to the wall where, although painted over, you can still make out “Pennel’s established 1889.” Reyes said he’s waiting for Bowdoin students who offered to paint a mural over the wall representing Kings and Queens.

And who’s the queen of Kings and Queens? Across from Reyes, his wife, Carlin Stimus, runs the salon end of the business. Having put in some time in a high end salon, Stimus balances out the business, making Kings and Queens a place where couples can go together. Stimus is joined by stylist Safa Hamdan for all your color, cut and makeup needs.

“Our first day actually, we had a woman that came in and felt very comfortable, and usually when women come into a barber shop they feel very uncomfortable,” Reyes said.

Reyes said he wants Kings and Queens to be a place where men and women can relax, talk with the barber and stylist, and have a good time.

“And that builds friendships, builds trust, builds relationships. I want a happy family by the time they get out of here,” Reyes said.

Reyes grew up in Orlando, Florida, and his native Puerto Rico. His mother and business manager, Myrna Gonzalez, Reyes referred to as Newyo Rican — was born in New York and raised in Puerto Rico. Reyes said he moved from Florida to Puerto Rico, Springfield, Massachusetts, and finally to Maine about 12 years ago.

Reyes said he’s getting everyone from every walk of life through his door, which he says is a blessing.

Reyes said everything comes with a straight razor finish. A specialty cut runs around $25 and a basic cut will cost $20 with discounts given for students, military, police and fire personnel.

Beard trimming, hot towels, hair and skin products and lots of friendly banter in a relaxed atmosphere keep people coming through the door. Reyes says he also caters to the working class, keeping the shop open until 6 p.m. on Monday, 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday.

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How much & when

• EVERYTHING COMES with a straight razor finish. A specialty cut runs around $25 and a basic cut will cost $20 with discounts given for students, military, police and fire personnel.

• THE SHOP IS OPEN until 6 p.m. on Monday, 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday.


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