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Dick’s Barber Shop Closing After 54 Years

Dick Denton is going to retire after more than a half-century on Webster Street

Owner:

When did you open ? Oct. 15, 1958. This is my 54th year.

Is this the oldest barber shop in Alameda? No. has got me by a couple of years.

How much did a haircut cost when you opened? Pure guess — I’d say maybe $1.75 — I really don’t remember. Now, my haircuts only cost $12.

How has Webster Street changed since you opened? There are too many beauty shops now and not enough bigger stores like O’Connell’s, which was a dime store that did landslide business. Bars were here. There are no clothing or shoe stores any more. Long’s was right in the middle of this block. Wells Fargo and Bank of America have been gone for a long time. Next door to me, there used to be a shoe repair place. There was a drugstore on the corner, which closed three years ago.

Where do your customers come from? Alameda, Oakland, San Leandro, Hayward, Fremont, Castro Valley, Livermore, San Ramon, Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, Petaluma, Vacaville, San Francisco.

Are you having a going away party? I’ve thought about it but I don’t think so. I celebrated my 25th anniversary here and my 50th. At the  50th anniversary celebration, we had a party with champagne, beer and hors d’oeuvres. I gave away 200-300 boxes of See’s candy.

I’m a generous person. Spending money on my customers is not an issue. But the cost of a party may be too much. It would have to be some place else since it would be 300-400 other people.

Why are you retiring? When I turned 62, I cut my hours back. Now I have a rotator injury and I’m retiring.

When is your last day? It may be as early as June 1.

What are you going to miss most about the barber shop? The people.

I’ve never gotten rich here. But my dad, who was a barber, told me you will always have a dollar in your pocket.

Leah Smith May 14, 2012 at 08:01 PM
I love walking past Dick's shop and waving at him as he works away. What wonderful history he's added to Alameda..which really is Alameda, plain and simple; whichever side you live on! Thank you so much, Cecilia, for sharing this news with us. I have heard that Dick visits older customers of his at their retirement homes and cuts their hair for free. What a wonderful guy. Always smiling as my kids and I walk past. Hm. When is he shutting down for good?
Cecelia Leong May 14, 2012 at 08:58 PM
As of this interview, Dick was not certain when his last day will be. Depending on when the sale of the business goes through, it may be as early as June 1st. Please check with him for the most up-to-date information.
Bill Garvine May 15, 2012 at 12:18 AM
Dick is a treasure of humanity! A great barber, yes, but also one of the best men I have ever met! I will miss the haircuts for sure, however, the visits with Dick will be something I know I'll never replace. Oh, and he knows his baseball too!
Jeff Mark May 15, 2012 at 11:34 PM
When was the last time anyone saw a "new" barber shop (not counting an existing moving to a new location)?
LegalEagle July 20, 2012 at 09:33 PM
Based on recent news reports, his last day is July 28th. Other newspapers are just getting the story out this week but I'm glad I got the scoop here 3 months in advance.

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