12 April 2010

Smith Street Loses a Barber Legend

I've passed by the above storefront on Smith Street in Carroll Gardens 500 hundred times. I never went in. My loss. Inside, a local legend plied his trade, and it's my loss I never had him give me a trim.

Giorgio Zocco, the head barber at Sal's Hairstylists—and known to everyone as "Sal"—died on April 4 at the age of 70. He had worked out of the Smith Street store, between Union and Sackett, since the 1970s. Zocco was born in Pozzallo, Sicily. He left when he was 13 for Venezuela, where he learned to cut hair. Coming to Brooklyn, he first worked in a different Smith Street shop. After he bought the business, he moved it in 1979 to 299 Smith Street. He lived upstairs from the barber shop.

There's a picture of the man, below, courtesy of Brooklyn Paper. Love that interior. Something out of a Coen Brothers film. 


JakeGould said...

"Sal" was great. I only got a haircut there once or twice. Mainly because he kept odd hours. But both times were great.

The first time he had two budgies in a cage in near the back of the shop, but visible to customers. So I asked him "What are there names?" He stops cutting, comes to my side and says "Romeo and Juliet? What the hell do I know! They're birds!"

Then a few minutes later they start making a ton of noise and birdseed starts to fly out of the cage. I say "They're making a mess. You should teach them some manners..." He instantly stops cutting, starts laughing, doubles over and gets some guy from outside and says to me "Tell him what you just told me!" I tell him the birds should be taught some manners. The guy from outside looks at "Sal" like "Really, you pulled me in for that?"

Still have his business card which declares: "The New Look: Sal’s”

He will be missed. RIP.

Max Van Der Cock said...

Any details on the replacement salon currently remodeling? it looks like theyre keping the back wall mural.