On Sunday, we stopped by the Larchmont Barbershop to check in with George Hilario and his colleagues as they enter the final weeks of the shop’s tenure on Larchmont Blvd.
Hilario told the Buzz he deeply appreciates the support of the community and wants to thank everyone who has supported the shop over the years. Hilario bought the shop in April 2013 from Jerry Cottone, who ran it for more than 50 years. Hilario is not yet certain where’s he going, but he’s promised to keep us posted.
In the meantime, you can still find him at the shop, which is now tucked back off the street a bit further because the front of the shop has been taken over by the renovation construction currently underway on the larger building. Just look for the new, smaller barber pole that hangs outside the plywood facade constructed for the renovation. Christina Development, which purchased the building in 2018, refused to extend any of the current leases past their term ending in December 2020. In October, they began the construction and are forcing all the businesses to be out by the end of year.
The shop’s original barber pole has been taken down and Hilario is holding on to it for now. It sits in a corner of the new space in the back of the shop, which was created by the contractor to make up for taking over the front of the shop. Hilario, who remains really upbeat despite all the disruption, said the space in the back has actually worked out well because it increases his ability to socially distance customers.
The Larchmont Barbershop is an institution and Hilario’s business was probably already hurt by the pandemic. Evicting a small business owner during the pandemic is a shameful and ruthless way to operate.
The scaffolding they built makes it impossible for the small businesses to welcome their customers. They’ve created an obstacle course just to reach anyone’s front door. These businesses were probably already in trouble and this is the final nail in the coffin.
Meanwhile looks like Christine Realestate is enjoying some nice tax breaks thanks to the CARES ACT just in time to evict small businesses before the holidays. –– https://insights.christinala.com/en-us/blog/the-cares-act-handed-cre-these-3-wish-list-tax-benefits
This is very sad. The economic logic is inescapable, but the consequence will be a caricature of brainless consumerism, and the slow strangulation of community. The two blocks north of Beverly offer the only nearby commercially zoned real estate vaguely affordable for service businesses, but where is the mechanism to make something happen?