El Continental Barber Shop

Business Contact Information

Dale E. Radtke
3015 E. Speedway Blvd., Tucson, AZ, 85716


Our History

El Continental was one of if not the first shops in Arizona to do men’s hairstyling. Edmond Roffler went to Europe and trained in a shop in Paris for about a year, came here in November 1963, and taught us the basics of haircutting. It’s something that came over from England and France; it was new to the continent. Dale was working at the UA barber shop (University Barber Shop), had Roffler train the employees, who taught Dale. Before that it was scissoring and clipper cuts – crew cuts and flattops. The owner had 2 shops, the landlord worked a lease together with the landlord at El Con. Landlord wanted Opened in January 1964 across from the Montgomery Ward. Dale became the manager after a short time, and bought ‘66. Bought from Perry Kincheloh. El Con-tinental

Most men at the time were getting crew cuts, military cuts. We convinced people to grow it out a little bit, cut with a razor, blow drying. Some of those styles came out of Hollywood. Pompodours, sweep looks. Peter Gunn, smooth looks. As hair grew out, especially after the Beatles became big, and we developed a system called the Sebring system (with products and techniques). We use scissors to do the cut and blow dry it into place. (Inventor was a victim of the Manson family, actually). Paul Newman, Chuck Connors, Peter Laurence, Peter Lawford.

Nov. 2000 moved over by Macy’s, to make room for Target & Home Depot. At El Con 47.5 years. 2001 moved next to Macy’s and stayed for another 10.5 years. When Macy’s closed in 2010, the writing was on the wall. One of the first in, one of the last out. 5 El Con address.

Moved to the new address in 2011, due to proximity and being on the main drag, and close to the UA.

Redid the interior, functional space, no wasted areas. Rick Bright architecture, builder was Barker-Morrissey.

Most of the employees have done a quarter million haircuts. Pushing 300k.

12 years ago someone left because he died. Average turnover rate is about 20 years.