KUSA — What do a Supreme Court justice, a doctor and a welding engineer all have in common? Their barber.
“Over the years, we’ve had quite a lot of people come in that were pretty well known,” said Dick Alderson, owner of O’Brien’s Tonsorial Parlor.
Alderson has been cutting hair at the corner of 8th and Birch in Denver's Hale neighborhood for 65 years. The original owner, Dick O’Brien, died in 1992. That’s when Alderson took over.
“This shop has been here since 1950,” Alderson said.
Alderson has seen a lot of change in his time at O’Brien’s. The old medical center was torn down, and is being replaced by apartments.
“There’s no place for small businesses anymore,” Alderson said. “Costs too much. Rent’s too high. Little places like this have a tough time making it these days.”
There are still four barber chairs in O’Brien’s. Right now, two are being used. By the end of the month - they’ll all be vacated.
O’Brien’s closes October 31.
“We lost our lease,” Alderson explained. “Some things happened where we could have got another lease, but I’m just too old to keep going. I’m 84 years old. It’s time to retire.”
They’re throwing a farewell party after they’ve closed, but Alderson won’t be putting down the sheers for good. He plans to make a few house calls to some of his customers that’ve been sitting in his chair since the 50s.
“It’s coming to an end and that’s kind of sad, but nothing lasts forever you know?"