• A new barbershop opened in Lebanon in December that offers travelers and truckers an opportunity to freshen up on those long drives on Interstate 40.

    Jason Rigney, who has owned Drake’s Barber Shop in Murfreesboro since 2003, recently opened a new shop in the Pilot Travel Center gas station on Murfreesboro Road just off of the I-40 exit in Lebanon.

    The new one-chair concept is called Drake’s Heroes of the Road Barber Shop and caters to the needs of travelers and truckers who work long hours on the road. The barbershop is next to the showers and a lounge area in the travel center. While the concept targets those on the road, Rigney encourages anyone to come get a fresh cut.

    “Drake’s Barbershop is a brick-and-mortar shop, the same barber shop that I got my haircut in when I was growing up. In Murfreesboro, I cut hair out of the same chair that I got my first haircut in,” Rigney siad.

    Rigney has been a licensed barber since 1997 but started cutting hair in the barracks when he served in the Marine Corps.

    “I’ve always been a fairly religious guy,” Rigney said, “And when I was cutting hair in the Marine Corps, I realized that I had a knack for it, and I realized that I was able to hold people’s attention, and I prayed that once I retired from the Marine Corps – cause I love the Corps – I’d go to Drake’s Barbershop and cut hair at Drake’s with Robert Drake.

    “I don’t know how long after that it was, but I had a real bad Jeep wreck that left me paralyzed with a brain injury and in a coma. I was in a coma for like a month, and they retired me after that – a medical retirement – and I forgot a lot of stuff, but I remembered that prayer that I prayed, that commitment that I made to God. So I went to barber college, and I passed it and graduated and came to Drake’s Barber Shop to cut hair there, and he had died.”

    Regardless, Rigney fulfilled his commitment and went to work for the new owner, a distant relative of his and Robert Drake’s friend.

    “I came there to work for him, and he died within six months of me being there, so then I got the shop after that,” Rigney siad. “I was actually going to college myself for a business administration degree and then – boom. All of a sudden I had the barbershop. I quit school to take care of the barbershop. That’s not something I advise,” Rigney said as he cracked a smile.

    Rigney said he’s received overwhelmingly positive feedback from his customers who were happy to find a barber ready to help them feel refreshed while on the road, something he wants to continue and expand in the future.

    “I’m very blessed to be able to be in this Pilot and hopefully be able to franchise it throughout the Pilots,” Rigney said.

    Rigney said while he is a businessman, it’s his faith in God and his support of his fellow man that’s really what keeps him going, something that’s evident when he sees truckers pass by his shop door as he greets every driver, asks them how their day is going and thanks each of them for their hard work on the road.

    “Anytime you go into business and your main focus is to help out your brother man, you’re going to be a winner. Keep that in mind – not money, but to help out your brother man,” Rigney said. “I like to add value – not only do I give them the best cut, but I’m bettering that person by truly being interested in that person, asking him questions, goal-oriented questions. What are you excited about today? How can I help you today? What’s your next goal look like? Help them drive, help them drive, because anytime you help another man succeed, you’ll succeed.”

    Drake’s Heroes of the Road Barber Shop is open Mondays through Saturdays from 2-10 p.m. on the second floor of the Pilot Travel Center at 921 Murfreesboro Road in Lebanon.

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