On the cutting edge
Barber marks 35 years of snipping away at his trade:
Published by Stephanie Waddell, November 5 1999
Tony Grella has been lowering East Yorkers’ ears for more than three decades.This year marks the 35th anniversary of the opening of Tony’s Barber Shop,at 1649 Bayview Ave,and without a doubt,Grella has built a steady,loyal clientele.”The customers are just like friends,“ Grella says. “It’s a really nice area.
” Before he opened the shop, he learned the ins and outs of the business in a downtown barber shop at age 18. By 1964, he was ready to open his own business. The first years were spent attracting new customers,like Jim Adamthwaite and his parents.He has been getting his hair cut at Tony’s since it opened.”I’ve been coming here ever since I was a little kid,”he said.
“While he continued to come to Grella for hair cuts,others influenced by the long hair style of the late 1960s made it difficult for the business to succeed. While people grew their hair long it was a little hard,but everyone told me to keep going and people would change,”Grella said. His friends were right.In a few years the style changed and customers returned to Tony’s.He continues to get new customers. “We’re getting, a lot of young people now,” he said.His secret to a 35 years of success? Service. People come back because they know they’ll get good service and a hairstyle they want. “I know what they want and they know what kind of service to expect,”he said. Adamthwaite confirmed Grella’s theory. “It’s good service and I feel comfortable,”Adamthwaite said. “I’ve moved away from this area,but I keep coming back.”