Showing posts with label Astor Place Hairstylists. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Astor Place Hairstylists. Show all posts

Thursday, February 10, 2022

A new 10-year lease for Astor Place Hairstylists

Photo yesterday by Steven 

Astor Place Hairstylists was set to close in late 2020 after business plummeted by nearly 90 percent during the pandemic. 

However, as announced in November 2020, a group of investors featuring financier Jonathan Trichter, former Hillary Clinton aide Howard Wolfson, pollster Jefrey Pollock and gaming mogul Jeffrey Gural, who's also the landlord at the address, put in the money to keep the shop afloat. (Gural was also said to reduce rent at the time.) 

Yesterday, details about a new 10-year lease for the subterranean shop that dates to 1947 at 2 Astor Place (aka 740 Broadway) were announced. 
"Astor Place Hairstylists is a New York institution," said Gural, chairman and principal of GFP Real Estate. "As a long-time client I am delighted to see that the business has not only pulled through the worst of the pandemic but is able remain in the same location they've occupied for more than 75 years. They are an important tenant, and we look forward to their continued success." 
According to the release, Michael "Big Mike" Saviello, the longtime manager, is now one of the owners.

Previous co-owners John and Paul Vezza retired at the end of 2021, making it the first time since the opening that a Vezza family won't be involved with the shop. 

Previously on EV Grieve

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

A good hair day: Investors pitch in to save Astor Place Hairstylists from closure

A group of wealthy investors has come together to save the Astor Place Hairstylists. The nearly 75-year-old NYC institution was set to close this week after business dropped by 90 percent during the pandemic.

However, as the Post reports, enough money has been raised to keep the subterranean barber shop "open for at least another 75 years."

Financier Jonathan Trichter and a group that includes Mike Bloomberg adviser and former Hillary Clinton aide Howard Wolfson, pollster Jefrey Pollock and gaming mogul Jeff Gural put in the money to keep the business afloat. (PIX 11 reported that the current owners are leaving; that "some of the new owners are clients, as well, keeping things in the family.")

Trichter said that he has been a customer since 1983. Gural owns the building at Astor Place and Broadway, and waived the rent for the time being. 
Gural told the Post that both Trichter and Mayor de Blasio separately reached out to him to see if he could help stop the store’s shut-down — and it was a no-brainer for him.

"Nobody wanted to see it closed," Gural said. “They’ve been a great tenant." 

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Report: Astor Place Hairstylists will close next month after 73 years in business

Astor Place Hairstylists is the latest NYC institution to fall victim to the economic hardships brought on by COVID-19.

The subterranean shop, founded in 1947, will close before Thanksgiving, according to manager Michael "Big Mike" Saviello, who told the Post their that business is down by 90 percent.

They reopened in June, but the customers didn't return. 

Said Saviello: "Maybe we’ll come back when the city comes back, but right now it's not feasible." 

In 2018, Nicolas Heller, a filmmaker (aka New York Nico),  released "Big Mike Takes Lunch,” a documentary that captures a day in the life of the longtime manager. (Read my interview with Heller here. The link also includes an embed of the 12-minute film.)

Heller addressed the pending closure on his Instagram account ... urging his 466,000 followers to pay a visit...
Maybe I was being naive, but I never saw such an iconic NYC institution ever closing. I figured it was too loved by the community to ever shut down. But because of the pandemic, there are no customers and they can’t afford the astronomical rent. 

I’ve been told they definitely plan on closing for good UNLESS there is a “miracle.” I’m not sure what that means, but for your sake, I couldn’t encourage you more to stop by and get your haircut, and find your new barber. @astorplacehairstylists is so much more than just a barbershop, it’s a museum, it’s the epitome of NYC...

 And Astor Place Hairstylists addressed the outpouring of support in this Instagram post...

Photo from 2011 by Karen Gehres, who directed the film "Astor Barber All Stars."

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Prime cut: Documentary offers a day in the life of Michael Saviello, longtime manager of the iconic Astor Place Hairstylists

Nicolas Heller has been getting his hair cut at Astor Place Hairstylists since he was a kid.

Heller, a filmmaker (aka New York Nico), had never talked with Michael Saviello, better known as Big Mike, the shop's manager for nearly 40 years. About a year ago, Heller used the restroom there, and spotted Big Mike in the storage area — painting.

"I had to hear what his deal was after that," Heller says with a laugh.

The end result is "Big Mike Takes Lunch,” Heller's documentary that captures a day in the life of the longtime manager at Astor Place Hairstylists, which opened in 1947 at 2 Astor Place at Broadway. For the past year, Big Mike has spent his lunch break painting, an activity that he hasn’t done since high school.

Per the documentary's description: "Follow Mike as he takes you on a journey through his shop full of characters and the storage unit he’s turned into his personal art studio."

In conjunction with the screening of the film, Big Mike will be having his first-ever art show at Astor Place Hairstylists on Saturday night at 8:30. RSVP to if you want to attend.

Meanwhile, Heller shared a copy of the 12-minute film here for EVG readers...