Oscar’s Barber Shop’s been a Fort Bend institution since the 1960s
By Michael Sudhalter
Walk into Oscar’s Barber Shop at 5022 U.S. 90-A in New Territory, and you’ll hear much more than the buzz of hair falling to the ground.
Luera, a 79-year-old Richmond resident, talks to his customers – a cross-section of Fort Bend residents from police officers and bankers to construction workers and attorneys.
The conversation ranges from grandkids to the Houston Rockets, and when retirement is on the horizon.
Some wonder when Luera will finally hang up the scissors and clippers, but they’re glad he’s staying around.
“If I’m not here, they don’t get a haircut,” Luera said. “I enjoy the conversations, and I like to see all of the people. A person gets used to the same barber.”
Luera is the longest-serving barber in Fort Bend County.
He started in Stafford in the late 1960s, spent a quarter-century near the former Imperial Sugar refinery in Sugar Land, and headed over to Missouri City in the late 1990s before settling at his current New Territory location.
Out of loyalty, customers who started seeing Oscar at each of his previous three locations still make the trip to New Territory.
Luera’s barber shop is decorated with family photos (he’s been married to the same woman for 51 years and is the proud father of three and grandfather of five), antiques, coins, and a large barber shop poll.
Perhaps his most impressive piece is an antique barber shop chair that belonged to his grandfather, Martin Luera, who worked as a barber in Oscar’s hometown of Waelder – a community of 1,065 residents located 119 miles directly west of Houston.
The chair and tools are more than 100 years old.
Oscar never planned on becoming a barber. He moved to Houston and worked in the Ship Channel and in a hospital before deciding to attend barber school.
“I got tired of jumping jobs,” Oscar said.
After working briefly as a barber, he opened his own shop in Stafford.
Oscar currently has two other barbers working in his shop, and has no plans to sell his shop.
None of his children or grandchildren want it.
“It’s hard to find dependable barbers these days,” Oscar said.