Thursday, September 15, 2005

Death of a barber shop

Dino Dini’s barber shop is in its last days.  He’s retiring after 40 years at 66.  So are his barbers Frank, 89 (!), and Tony, 69.  It’s here and here. That didn’t keep recruiters away.  Two were there this afternoon, checking on their plans: retirement, retirement, retirement.  So the recruiters were going away empty-handed.  What then of the shop?  Dino has had four or five inquiries, none of which have led to a lease with Kehoe & Co., the building managers.  The building, a big one, on the SW corner of Marion & Chicago, was bought a few years ago by a group of investors.  There apparently is no replacement barber shop in its future.

Meanwhile, a half mile south, also on Marion — on the pedestrian mall, from Lake to the tracks — rents are going up, says one merchant, and the smaller shops will probably be moving.  A very big condo development is going up just beyond the viaduct, on the SE corner of Marion & South Blvd.  Its units will not be going for peanuts.  Its residents will be flocking to nearby shops which will reflect their ability to pay more.

Times are a-changing in OP.  Weep and wail if you must, but there’s nothing anyone can do about it, not while there’s a tax base to keep in mind for our schools and parks and library, to name three OP-required amenities of the first water.  Goodbye, Dino.  Enjoy your retirement.  And haircut-seekers, take note: Saturday the 17th is the last day.  Dino will take his chair.  The other two are pretty well spoken for by loyal customers, a number of whom shook hands with Dino and the other two on their way out this afternoon.

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