Get A Haircut, Shot Of Whiskey, Hang Out In Ultimate Man Cave At Gillette Barbershop

Rapscallion’s Barbershop in Gillette, Wyoming, is old school. It's where a guy can get a haircut, enjoy a shot of whiskey, and shoot the bull about anything without getting judged. The owner calls it a "locker room environment."

John Thompson

May 28, 20238 min read

Rapscallions Barbershop in downtown Gillette, Wyoming.
Rapscallions Barbershop in downtown Gillette, Wyoming. (Cowboy State Daily Staff)

Rapscallions Barbershop in Gillette is a barber shop that’s cooler than a polar bear’s paw.

Open since 2016, it’s a place where masculinity is celebrated, where a guy can get a haircut, have a highball and feel comfortable shooting the bull about anything.  

Owner Trevers Chapman says he doesn’t sell haircuts, he sells the experience at his throwback shop at 223 S. Gillette Ave. in the heart of downtown.

The language can get a little rough sometimes, he said. After all, his clientele is made up of mostly tradesman, roustabouts, welders, mechanics and ranchers — and may bring their own whiskey, beer or whatever to keep lubricated.

They will, however, dial it down when women are children are present.

“Gillette needed a cool masculine barbershop where guys can talk without feeling judged or ridiculed for acting like men,” Chapman said. “Men are always being measured, and we have to be careful what we say.

“Here, it’s a locker room environment where guys can be at ease to talk about politics, religion, sports, or whatever else they want, and it won’t be an issue.”

Trevers Chapman gives a haircut at his Gillette barbershop, Rapscallions.
Trevers Chapman gives a haircut at his Gillette barbershop, Rapscallions. (Main Street Gillette via Facebook)

All About Men

Perceptive and philosophic, Chapman says he’s learned enough about men to write a book.

“We all have problems, feelings and ideas,” he said. “We want to be good fathers, brothers and sons. There’s not a lot that separates us. We are a lot more alike than we care to admit.”

His clientele is about 80% local. Fathers are encouraged to bring their sons, who are treated to free video games, movies and root beer. Chapman says that stems from memories of a downtown Gillette shop where his father took him and his brother.  

“I want them to have cool memory of being with their dad and they can get a cool haircut too,” he said. “It’s the little things.”

He says every guy has his own unique interests and similarities. Hand any guy a power tool and the first thing he will do with it is rap it out. It must be genetic.

“Guys who drive Honda Civics with loud exhaust pipes annoy the shit out of me,” he said. “I’m a Jeep guy, we just want to drive over stuff. Guys on crotch rockets just want to go fast. We all seem to pick out our own niches.”

Men don’t generally know they need a haircut until they wake up one morning, start brushing their teeth and decide it’s time, he said. It could be after a week of having horrible hair and they randomly decide that day, or they have some free time during lunch or after golfing.

The Chalkboard

Chapman doesn’t know how many clients he has, he only knows how many he has today and tomorrow.

He has eight barbers who work on a two-day schedule. They use a chalkboard on pulleys that moves up and down the wall. If you want an appointment in the next two days, call up or show up and get your name on the chalkboard.

“Most men don’t have much long-term or short-term memory,” he said. “I’m lucky to remember beyond 24 hours. Most men are flying by the seat of their pants, so I designed it that way.”

They try to be “as open as possible,” Chapman said, adding that he’s been reluctant to advertise his services online. He likes the chalkboard. People can walk in and know who’s next and where they are in line.

He does 10 to 18 services a day, five days a week and is considering posting a live camera feed that shows the chalkboard to give people an idea of how busy the shop is on a given day.

Rapscallions Barbershop is packed with and eclectic collection provided by customers.
Rapscallions Barbershop is packed with and eclectic collection provided by customers. (Courtesy Photo)

The Décor

The building is more than 100 years old and was originally a saddle shop.

It’s decorated with an eclectic variety of stuff. Each piece has a story behind it, which is important because they create conversation, Chapman said.

“It gives you plenty to talk about when you meet new people,” he said. “Everything in here has a story, and I do that on purpose. Anyone can grab old antiques and throw them in a space. But all these things found their way in here, and that’s a beautiful part of the place.”

A friend of Chapman’s went on an African safari and brought back a baboon. Chapman put a sombrero on it and put it on display.

Another friend gave him an African lion mount and a third a moose head that his wife wouldn’t let him hang in their house. He has two old wood restaurant signs and a safe from a bank that are part of Gillette’s history.  

The design of the shop doesn’t have a theme or a specific purpose.

“It’s like a happy accident, as Bob Ross would say, that has manifested over the years,” he said.

There's a story behind the flags of the four U.S. military branches that hang in Rapscallions.
There's a story behind the flags of the four U.S. military branches that hang in Rapscallions. (Courtesy Photo)

Flags Have Stories To Tell

Flags from all four branches of the U.S. military hang from one wall and each has a story.

Chapman said he decided to ask his veteran friends for flags rather than buy them.

A tattered Marine Corps flag that hung over Fallujah, Iraq, was a gift from a retired Marine who came in for a flattop.  

Once he had the Marine Corps flag, he used it to pressure friends from the other branches to get their flags.

A young man about to ship off for the Naval Academy sent him a flag from San Diego. His Army flag, given to him by a local recruiter, hung over Bagdad, Iraq, when the city was seized.

A retired Air Force veteran provided the fourth flag to complete the collection.

“Corporate America is artificial, and it feels that way,” Chapman said. “I try to make cool changes in here and keep adding and subtracting so it doesn’t feel static. You can get the same haircut here every time if you want, but I want it to be a different experience every time.”

Cocktail And A Crew Cut?

Being able to sip a toddy while waiting your turn for a haircut was popular after the business opened. But by now the shine on that aspect of the business has faded.

Chapman doesn’t have a liquor license and laws won’t allow him to profit or benefit from the sale of alcohol. Clients can bring a bottle in, leave it there and drink on it when they want. Even if they don’t need a haircut.

“I can’t make money off selling alcohol, but if a guy wants to leave a bottle here, he can,” he said. “It was popular at the beginning, but has fallen by the wayside. People are too crazy busy these days to spend the time. I think they just like the novelty of knowing they can.”

Barbershop Resurgence

At barber school, Chapman learned it was The Beatles that paved the way for hair stylists because traditional barbers didn’t know how to cut a mop-top.

“Men are going back to more traditional hair styles. It started in the early 2000s,” Chapman said. “It’s a trade skill and we are starting to see a resurgence in the trades. I got lucky and was able to jump in at the right time.”

There's plenty of space to wait, shoot the bull, hang out or have a beer (bring it yourself) at Rapscallions Barbershop in Gillette, Wyoming.
There's plenty of space to wait, shoot the bull, hang out or have a beer (bring it yourself) at Rapscallions Barbershop in Gillette, Wyoming. (Courtesy Photo)

The Name

Rapscallion means rascal or rogue, which seems to fit the clientele, Chapman said. Initially he was going to call it Mitchell and Oliver’s after his son and his middle name, but that sounded too formal.

“This name is a better fit for the guys that live and work around here,” he said. “They work hard and want to enjoy themselves in a place where guys can be themselves. Being a rapscallion doesn’t mean you’re doing everything right.”

The Past

Early in his career, Chapman worked in the oil fields. But around 2015 when the work slowed down, he decided he was done chasing rigs. He started college twice and stopped twice — in conjunction with the birth of his children.

At that point he asked himself what am I looking for? He said he narrowed it down to wanting to work with his hands in a social career and he wanted to own his own business. Barber school seemed like a good fit, where he can be around rapscallions all day long.

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John Thompson

Features Reporter