After running The Natural Choice Barber Shop in Oakland for the past 19+ years, Penn Hills resident Nate Mitchell—aka DJ Nate Da Barber—is getting set to open his second location in the new Homewood development The SHOP. We first became a fan of Nate after frequenting his now defunct 720 Records and Cafe (RIP) in Lawrenceville, and we’re excited to follow him as he returns to Homewood, the neighborhood he moved to when he was in ninth grade. Here, Nate shares highlights from his special birthday week—from planning a party for donors to his successful Indiegogo campaign, to spending time with his family. So if you see him around town this week, be sure to wish him a very happy birthday.

Monday, February 27

By far my favorite day of the week is Monday! As an entrepreneur, I look forward to Mondays like most people look forward to the weekend. I’m a morning person, so I’m usually up by 5:45 a.m. to start the process of getting my 7-year-old daughter Lauren ready for school. I prepare breakfast and lunch and get her to the bus stop by 7:20 a.m. This leaves me just enough time to grab a cup of tea at Everyday Café in Homewood, and then head over to The SHOP at 8 a.m. for UNSTUCK Mondays.

After a little networking, it’s time for a weekly meeting with my manager at The Natural Choice Barber Shop and Salon in Oakland. These meetings have become critical with the opening of a second barbershop in the very near future.

Today also marks the day of our final plumbing inspection for our new Natural Choice Barber Shop location in Homewood.

Then I’ll head back over Everyday Café for a Speed Networking Event at 5 p.m.

Tuesday, February 28

Weekday mornings are pretty much rinse and repeat until about 7:20 a.m., and then we are off to the races! Today is a big delivery day at the new barbershop location in Homewood. Arriving today will be barber chairs, mirrors, a washing machine/dryer unit, and hair dryer units.

Nate Mitchell

Nate Mitchell

After waiting for a few deliveries, I’ll head over to The Natural Choice in Oakland to start my Tuesday afternoon haircut schedule. I purposely make Tuesday one of my heavier client days to take advantage of the early week energy supply.

I usually leave the shop around 5 p.m., hop in the car and catch up on the Drink Champs podcast during the ride home.

Wednesday, March 1

Wednesday is a work and play day. This Wednesday happens to be a payroll day for the barbershop. So after some early morning number crunching, I’ll celebrate by treating myself to a nice breakfast at Grandma B’s Cafe on Wylie Avenue in The Hill District.

No hair clients today; instead, I’m going to treat my beautiful wife Jovon to a cup of tea at one of our favorite spots, Dobra Tea in Squirrel Hill.

Later that evening we’ll go check out DJ Selecta at his Wednesday night get down in Shadyside at SOBA Lounge.

Thursday, March 2

This Thursday is cleanup day for the new barbershop location. I have a 9 a.m. breakfast meeting with my general contractor at Square Café to discuss cleanup and putting the finishing touches on the new barbershop.

I’m also meeting with one of my business partners and my event producer to plan our Indiegogo donor thank you party. We exceeded our fiscal goal for our Homewood Rising campaign by $2,ooo, and there is no better way to celebrate than by throwing a party for our donors!

I’ll squeeze in a couple of hair appointments at the Natural Choice in Oakland and head over to pick up my daughter after school for gymnastics at Gymkhana.

Nate Mitchell

Nate Mitchell in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in the penthouse suite at La Concha Resort.

Friday, March 3

At 12 a.m., I’ll call my twin sister in Philadelphia to wish her a happy birthday!!!

Get lots of rest, then wake up at 8 a.m. and wish myself a happy 42nd birthday! I thoroughly believe that birthdays are for leisure, so I won’t be doing much of anything today other than watching movies and lounging.

I will eat a great dinner with my family at Randita’s vegan cafe in Aspinwall. There is also a good chance that I’ll attend a few events at the SUNSTAR Festival at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater‘s Alloy Studios.

Saturday, March 4

DRIVETIME! Today we will take advantage of my daughter’s weeklong spring break and head out of town. First stop: Washington, D.C.! Going to get settled into a very nice Kimpton Hotel and relax for the night.

Sunday, March 5

The only two things on our agenda for today are brunch at Georgia Brown’s in D.C. and visiting The National Museum of African American History & Culture at the Smithsonian.

See who else is NEXT Up here.

Have a suggestion for NEXT Up? Email us with suggestions!




About The Author

Arts + Events editor

Former arts & culture editor of Pop City; worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art. Co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania and co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. In a band called The Garment District; founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.

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