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Beards and beers .. Samara Fraser officially opened her new boutique barbershop, Bruce's Barber, in Oamaru yesterday. PHOTO: REBECCA RYAN

What’s old is new again at Bruce’s Barber in Oamaru.

After months of planning, Samara Fraser officially opened her boutique barbershop in Tees St yesterday.

Her new business venture piqued the interest of locals when she applied successfully to the Waitaki District Council for a liquor licence.

“I just wanted a cool space for guys to be able to come in and relax and have a beer – I feel like there are so many spots for ladies and guys just kind of get missed,” she said.

Offering hair cuts, hot-towel shaves and beard trimming, Mrs Fraser said her methods and vision for the walk-ins only barbershop were a little bit “old school” and had the hardworking “Kiwi bloke” in mind.

Bruce was Mrs Fraser’s father’s name. He died when she was young.

The name “Bruce’s Barber” was a tribute to him and it had a nice ring to it, she said.

Mrs Fraser said she saw a gap in the market for a barbershop in Oamaru and it had just been a case of finding the right space.

She felt like she had found that on Tees St, in the space adjoining Estella Hair Studio, and she was grateful for all of the support she had received from the community.

“I feel like if I was to do this in Brisbane, it would be a completely different experience – I wouldn’t have the same support,” she said.

Mrs Fraser grew up in Oamaru, but left about 11 years ago – first moving to Timaru, where she completed her hairdressing apprenticeship, then Melbourne and Brisbane.

She returned to Oamaru last year, with husband Damien, after getting married in the North Otago town in January.

“While we were back here we were like, actually, [Oamaru] is quite cool – it’s come a long way,” she said.

“So we made the move.”

Mrs Fraser started working as a stylist for Gabrielle Docherty in the adjoining Estella Hair Studio in October last year, and she will continue that work. The barbershop will be open only Thursday to Saturday.

Oamaru was changing and Mr and Mrs Fraser were excited to be back and part of that change.

“We’re both loving it – a lot of the younger crowd are coming back with new ideas, it’s cool to see,” she said.