The store first opened its doors in 1910, by Giovanni Santoro, who immigrated from Italy. His son John took over the business after completing his service to our country. John Fenerlis has been the current owner since 1976.
John was born in Thessaloniki, Greece, where he grew up under German occupation during WWII. As a young boy in Greece, under severe poverty and depression of the war and after losing his father, he was tasked with helping his mother and siblings to survive. Those hardships during his youth helped forge a never ending tenacity and love of family and strong work ethics, that would stay with him for all of his life.
John’s passion of grooming began in his neighborhood barber shop. The owner was welcoming to John and invited him into the shop. He would often tip him for sweeping and brushing the hair off clients backs. At the age of eleven, he mastered his first haircut and beard trim. He worked in the shop during the days and in the evenings, he worked in maintenance at a hotel nearby.
In 1956, John immigrated to the United States and moved to Boston. He found work at New England Baptist Hospital, within the maintenance department. Every morning he would buff the hall floors of the hospital. He became quite friendly with a very well-known patient, President John F. Kennedy. He would often ask John for help in getting him his news for the day and would chat about Greece with him.
A few years later he met his devoted and loving wife, Dina, who also immigrated from Sparta, Greece. They married in 1958 and settled in Cambridge and started their family, which would be the focus of the rest of their lives.
John quickly obtained the license that gave him the title of Master Barber. Eventually John and Dina saved enough money and in 1961 they purchased Miller's Barber Shop on Washington Street in Brighton. In1976 he sold the shop and became the third owner of John's Barber Shop.