Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Clover Barber

*UPDATE: Earlier, based on a tipster's report and photos, I misreported that the building that housed the Clover Barber Shop was for sale, and that the Clover sign had come down. The tipster mistook one building for another, and I neglected to double-check the address. Mea culpa. The Clover sign still stands. Post revised.

It's been years since I last got my hair cut by Mr. Riccardelli at the Clover Barber Shop in Park Slope. (I wrote about it here in 2007.)

photo from my flickr, 2007

In 2008, the metal gates of the Clover shuttered and never rose again.

The antique sign has remained, however, with its letter A's made of opened scissors. Every time I had the chance to walk by, I hoped the place would be open, and that the barber or a young apprentice would be inside, snipping away in the gorgeous, unchanged shop. But that never happened.

photo from my flickr, 2007

Mr. Riccardelli was already 84 years old when he cut my hair half a dozen years ago. I figured maybe his hands weren't "good" anymore, that he'd retired and moved to Florida like his daughter wanted, or that he'd passed away. Then, earlier this year, a brief obituary appeared online. He got close but didn't make it to 99, like his grandfather, who survived so long by never once seeing a doctor, and by drinking a glass of Brioschi and lemon every morning with his pipe. Or so Mr. Riccardelli said.

photo by axlotl

With Mr. Riccardelli gone, it's unlikely that the Clover will ever open again as a barber shop.

We might see another trendy restaurant move in to this space. Maybe they'll call it Clover--perfect for a locavore, "farm to table" joint--or Barber Shop, claiming homage as they capitalize on the past. 

Meanwhile, rest in peace Mr. Riccardelli. Your hands were good.

photo by Dave Sanders

More barber shops on JVNY:
Clover Barber Shop
Atlas Barber School
Park Slope Barber
New Barber Shop
Astor Hair
Aminova's Barber Shop


Anonymous said...

your friend got it wrong thats the wrong corner. I know because I live on this street. There are two corner shops closed, clover and another unnamed store front. Clover is still sitting there locked up. No real estate sign on clover as of yet. I will try to get you the correct pictures today but I can tell you for suer that is NOT Clover. Maybe you should check out your pictures before putting them up. Now I have to question every closing story you have ever put up on our blog.

onemorefoldedsunset said...

I'm sorry to hear about Mr Riccardelli's death. My son had his first barbershop haircuts here, and enjoyed the kiddie car ride/lollipop routine. I enjoyed talking to Mr. Riccardelli, and the quiet, unchanging routine of the shop.
However, the listing you mention is for the 11th street corner, not the 12th. The know- nothing realtors list that building as built in the 20s, when actually it was built in the 1880s. In a 1919 c of o it was listed as a soda manufacturer.
As far as I know, the Clover sign is still up (the more modern Brooke's appliance store sign next door is pretty nice too). I do keep expecting it to disappear though.

Jeremiah Moss said...

thanks Anon. also, sorry to hear this will make you never trust me again. though that seems a tad extreme.

onemorefoldedsunset said...

Your blog, not our blog, surely, though is Anon a secret partner we knew nothing about until now? I almost wish I hadn't commented about the business too. Both those corners have been shuttered for a long time, and it's easy to misidentify a corner now and again. And I dare say Clover will be on a realtor's site in the near future. Thanks as ever for the amazing work you do.

Jeremiah Moss said...

Thanks One More Folded Sunset, much appreciated. This tipster is usually reliable, but they got confused, and I neglected to double-check the address. It happens. I am glad to hear the sign is still there--at least for now. As you say, it won't last long.

vintagejames said...

For years after the shop was closed, it was not shuttered and I enjoyed looking at the old kiddie car ride. "Clover" must have been a popular name some time ago; you can even see it in Manhattan. Does anyone know the reason.

laura r. said...

barbers tend to love a long time. they work untill they die, sometimes in their 90s. the older generation was stronger. especially those w/thier own businesses, the social contact, the neighorhood. amazing service as well. i want to try a barber for a straight blunt trim. i bet they are precise, careful, no nonesence, no bs, no cell phone, no loud music like a unisex "salon". they keep it real, thats for sure!