Denver barber shop loses lease, will close after decades in business

DENVER -- In the 4300 block of East Eight Avenue in Denver sits a small row of businesses made for another time.

At one time the barber shop was as common as the full-service filling station.

But in time, all things must pass. Such is the case with O'Brien's Tonsorial Parlor.

"They are not renewing our lease because they want to put other businesses in," owner Dick Alderson said.

"Take the little business out and put in the bigger business."

Regardless of the reason, Alderson is disappointed.

"Disappointed, absolutely. Disappointed, sure, don't want to close up," he said.

Customer Jim Reisenman is disappointed, too. He has been coming to this same barber shop since he was 10 years old. That is more than 40 years ago.

"So many of my friends who have grown up in this neighborhood get their haircuts here. Their dad's get their haircuts there. They are now bringing their kids to get their haircuts here," he said.

One might say Alderson is a dedicated man.

He has been cutting hair for 65 years -- all at the same location. It has been his one and only job.

"I liked it. I always thought if I was going to do this for a living, there is no better place to do it than here. So I stayed here," he said.

Slowly but surely, some day barber shops such as O'Briens will just be a memory.

"Nothing lasts forever. Been here a long time. Can't stay forever," Alderson said.