03/17/2011

I’m not one to knock anyone’s hustle, but there comes a time when enough is enough.  Now this tenant runs a barber shop on the corner of a very high traffic area.  They have established themselves over the years and do quite well.  Of course like with many barber shops; barbers come and go, there tends to be a lot of hanging out in the shop, a great deal of smack and harsh words get thrown around.  It’s a barbershop – so no surprise there.  All was relatively well until . . . . .  around 11:00pm one night I get a call “there was an accident and a car has gone through the barbershop.” 

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 Sadly, I am not unfamiliar with these types of phone calls as a car went through the grocery store – three store fronts down – last summer.  Needless to say there was a gaping hole on the side of the shop and sure enough there was a car in between what was once the waiting area and the barber chairs.  As normal the car gets towed, the shop gets boarded up, reports are made and insurance will be called in the morning.  I speak to the owner of the shop to notify him that he can not open until the insurance adjuster  has visited the  site and repairs have been made to the property.  Of course this is not what he wants to hear – “tomorrow is the first of the month, its back to school, our busiest time of the year, I have to be open.”  Being a business person myself I understand however, “the floor is completely torn up, there is no wall on the right side of the building, code enforcement will not allow you to operate a business under these conditions.  You can not open this store until further notice.”  With that said its time for me to go home.  I leave and assume that everything is as it should be in a situation like this.

Later that morning I do a drive by to make sure all is quiet at the shop.  And naturally it’s not.  The plywood put up in the wee hours of the morning are now spray painted with  “WE ARE OPEN COME AROUND THE CORNER.”  I pull over to investigate because I don’t understand how they are open.  Low and behold they are open, people are lined up by the side doorway, an extension cord is running from inside the shop to a set of clippers placed on a chair and there stands the barber cutting hair on the sidewalk, barber cape and all!!!  I had to laugh – I say you can’t open the shop so you literally take the business to the streets.  Needless to say there is no way street corner cutting was going to be allowed.  The barber eventually closed up shop and waited the allotted time for repairs (most repairs) to be completed before reopening.

Like I said, I understand the hustle but come on.  Sometimes you must accept defeat and save your strength for another day.  If I was a different kind of landlord my tenants would have surely made sidewalk cutting an everyday thing.  If they were smart they would get a van or commercial truck, get a vendor’s license and set up a mobile barbershop.  Now that’s getting your hustle on – Im just saying.


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