EAST PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – A local barbershop is taking a step back in time.

“We have a long line of hair!” laughed Toni Brooks. Barbering is in her blood.

“My dad was a barber that taught barber college, so he encouraged. And I have an uncle that was also a barber and I have cousins and my foster sister,” said Brooks.

“Barbering is such a neat trade…it’s the TV and air conditioning and a whole bunch of chatter and it’s kind of fun actually. It is a fun trade.”

Toni Brooks

Brooks opened The Old Fashioned Barbershop in East Peoria back in 1981 after the death of her former boss.

“I had worked for a man named Chuck Marroquin and Chuck passed away. And he had to have a master barber to open his—to keep his shop going,” she said. “It was at the time when East Peoria was expanding.”

If you take a look around the intimate space she now owns, it’s like stepping back in history. 

Brooks said, “The [barber] chairs are like 100 years old and they belonged to my Uncle Joe. And the cash register was from a candy shop that my Uncle Bruno used to own.”

Even some techniques she still uses are old-fashioned in full form. 

“I still do the barber shave around the neck. Very few barbers–because I’m old school. Very few barbers do that,” she said.

The legacy now continues on with her son, Brad, who is the new owner of The Old Fashioned Barbershop.

“Brad was looking for a place. And Brad had gone to high school and went to barber school just like I did. So it just was a good fit for him,” said Brooks. “Between the two of us, we have over 80 years of experience.”

And while Brooks isn’t quite sure what the future will hold, she’s grateful for the makeovers she’s been able to provide customers. 

She said, “I want them to say, ‘Yeah, that was good! I’m feeling good.’”

The Old Fashioned Barbershop is located at 200 McKinley St. in East Peoria.