As much as Southie continues to change, some things remain the same. Broadway Haircutters, one of the neighborhood’s longest-running businesses, has persisted for over fifty years with no plans of stopping. Originally opened in 1960 as Charlie’s Barber Shop, the salon found its current location in 1974 and has persisted through three generations—Charlie Sr., the founder, Charlie Jr., veteran haircutter, and current owner Karen.

Inside the shop, the original barber pole from Charlie’s Barber Shop still hangs.

For Karen—who has owned the shop since July 2009—consistent connection is what makes her job enjoyable. “We have a lot of old school, loyal clients that have been here for many years,” she says. “We’re lucky for that—it’s a good feeling.” Part of maintaining those clients, Karen’s colleague Jamie notes, comes with supporting them. “We’ve followed along in Charlie’s footsteps and in the values that start from his dad: if you were down on your luck, this was the place you would go,” she said. Jamie recalls times when Charlie would support a struggling client with a free haircut and seeks to create a similar atmosphere for her customers now.

Today, much of that support has turned emotional, as well. “Since Covid, we’ve become more of a support system for people,” Jamie says. Perhaps due to the challenges of the pandemic, clients are more willing to share their personal lives—and Jamie and Karen are always willing to listen. “Haircutters—we listen. We’re cheaper therapy!” Jamie says.

Like anyone who’s been in Southie over the past twenty years, Karen has noticed that it’s changed a lot—especially when trying to find a parking space, she notes. But she tries to stay open to change while running Broadway Haircutters—even despite her own impulses. Just recently in 2020, the shop switched to an appointment-only schedule, adjusting to the pandemic and client preferences. “I’m old school, but you need to have change. Growth is good,” Karen said.

In two weeks, Charlie Jr. will finally retire, marking yet another adjustment for the shop. But Karen is ready to run the shop without Charlie’s help. “It’s going to be different, but he’s ready—it’s time for him.” she said. The experience of the shop, after all, is ever the same. “You’re gonna come in, you’re gonna get a good-quality haircut, and it’s not gonna break the bank.”

Councilor Flynn and Councilor Murphy were proud to join South Boston neighbors over the weekend to recognize Charlie Trapano for over 60 years of service and dedication to the community at Broadway Haircutters. We extend our best wishes on his well-deserved retirement.

To make an appointment at Broadway Haircutters, stop by at 670 East Broadway, call 617-268-1244, or message the shop on Facebook.

Editor’s Note: We believe Broadway Haircutters was the home of the “Southie Cut” from back in the day.  If you know, you know.  I personally had one in fifth grade and was often mistaken for a boy. 


  1. G Loughman April 11, 2024 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    Charlie Trapeno’s father had a barber shop on Broadway across from the First National Grocery Store. Charlie’s son bought a funeral home further up on Broadway across from Slocum’s Toy Store and opened a large hair salon. I use to go there before I retired as a police officer and moved to NH. I now live in South Carolina. Charlie owned a number of properties in Southie.
    G. Loughman

  2. Anna Williams’s April 11, 2024 at 8:10 pm - Reply

    I go to Broadway hair cutters all the time and all the staff there is great we will miss you charley

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