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Associate attorney, Gray Plant Mooty

Breaking the Ice: Barber’s son takes over Capitol Barbers

Name: Josh Kirkpatrick

Title: Master barber and owner, Capitol Barbers

Education: Associate’s degree, Lakewood Community College (now Century College); certificate in broadcasting from the former Brown Institute; barbering diploma, Minneapolis Community & Technical College


Josh Kirkpatrick, who grew up in his father’s barbershop in the State Office Building basement, takes over May 16 with his purchase of Capitol Barbers from his retiring father, Ken Kirkpatrick.

The younger Kirkpatrick followed in his father’s professional footsteps only after working as a radio disc jockey and bar manager. Barbering, he realized, offered the socializing he enjoyed as a bartender with better hours. Josh was the barber program instructor at Minneapolis Community & Technical College before buying Capitol Barbers.

Ken, a Capitol fixture since he bought the shop in 1972, will work part time during the transition. Stylist Colleen Kirk remains.

Josh won’t be starstruck by politicos or power brokers: Past celebrity clients include former Minnesota Twins Jim Thome and Nick Punto, former Minnesota Viking Jared Allen and actor James Denton.


Q. What’s the best way to start a conversation with you?

A. Talk about baseball. I’m huge baseball fan. Twins first and foremost, but I just love baseball in general. I don’t talk a whole lot of politics because I’ve never really followed it. Some of the biggest debates I’ve had about baseball are about the [designated hitter] rule. I’m a definitely against the DH.

Q. What books are on your bedside table or e-reader?

A. One is “101 Baseball Places to See Before You Strike Out.” I have about 15 to 20 crossed off: the Louisville Slugger museum in Kentucky, the Field of Dreams [movie site] and the All-Star Game in St. Louis in 2009. The other book, I’m really strong in my faith, is called “Repenting of Religion: Turning from Judgment to the Love of God” by Gregory Boyd, a pastor in Maplewood.

Q. What’s a favorite activity outside your job?

A. Hanging out with my wife and kids. I love being outside and doing stuff with them. My son’s a big baseball fan like I am. I play softball myself.

Q. If someone visits you in your hometown, what would you take them to see or do?

A. I grew up in White Bear Lake and live in Waconia now. When we’re in White Bear, I like to go out on the pontoon with my dad, bring the kids out there and my wife, and fish and just go for boat rides on Bald Eagle Lake.

Q. Who is a person who has inspired you?

A. My dad for barbering and for baseball as well. I grew up playing baseball, and he taught me. I remember going in the [state office] building when I was a kid. It was pretty neat walking through the big hallways. Being a people person, hanging out with people all day, swapping stories, hearing what’s going on in everybody’s lives, I liked the social atmosphere of what a barbershop is.

Q. If you’re not at your barber chair, what are you probably doing?

A. My dad takes walks a lot if he’s got a slow day. He’s down in the basement, so he’ll step outside and get some fresh air. I’ll probably be doing the same thing, a quick walk outside to stretch the legs.

Q. What do very few people know about you?

A. A lot of people don’t know that I used to be a radio DJ. The first station I worked at was in Mauston, Wisconsin. I hosted the evening show. Then in Atwater, I hosted the morning show. There was a lot of multitasking, staying on time with your ads. Making sure you got the time of the songs right so you’re not talking over the lyrics. The morning show, I had to be there by 5 in the morning to prep the news and weather and get the playlist ready. A lot of people don’t know how solitary of a job it is. A lot of times from 5 to 9 in the morning I was the only one in the whole radio station.

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