That was a close shave.
A group of wealthy New Yorkers has stepped in to save the iconic Astor Place Hair Stylists
barber shop from going out of business after nearly 75 years.
The East Village classic — whose customers have included everyone from pop artist Andy Warhol to actor Robert de Niro and Mayor Bill de Blasio — announced last month that it was going to close its doors for good around Thanksgiving because of flailing business amid COVID-19.
But money has now been raised to keep the landmark Manhattan hair hangout “open for at least another 75 years,’’ financier Jonathan Trichter told The Post on Monday.
Trichter said he and other investors — including Mike Bloomberg adviser and former Hillary Clinton aide Howard Wolfson, pollster Jeff Pollack and gaming mogul Jeff Gural — are propping up the business with cash to ensure it “will continue to be a global arbiter of style and chic.’’
The now-locks-challenged Wolfson told The Post, “I’ve been going to Astor since I had a full head of hair, and I’m happy to help an institution that has meant so much to me and this city. First visit, 1983.
“It used to take a lot longer to cut my hair in those days,’’ Wolfson quipped. “But the high quality is still the same.”
One of the shop’s managers, Paul Vezza, whose grandfather, Enrico Vezza Sr., founded the three-generation family business, called the last-minute lifeline “a tremendous blessing.
“We were going to close this week. This was an 11th-hour save. Better days are ahead,’’ Vezza said.
The New York institution, which saved itself once before during an economic downturn in the 1970s — by churning out punk-rock ’dos — has also catered to the likes of actors Bruce Willis, Channing Tatum, Kevin Bacon and Edward Byrne and comedian Sinbad, Vezza said.
The manager praised Gural, who owns the building where the basement shop is located, for leading the charge to save the shop from demise.
“Gural is a good guy — the best. My dad would always tell me, ‘Jeff is a smart man,’ ” Vessa said.
The store manager said the shop employed about 50 people before the pandemic but that number had to be cut by about half because of the bad economy and past coronavirus shutdowns of non-essential businesses.
As for the shop’s deep-pocketed saviors, “I’m glad for the people working here,” Vessa said.
Share this article:
Source: Read Full Article