Astor Place Hairstylists workers, customers thankful for survival

GREENWICH VILLAGE, Manhattan — It’s a small business success story thanks to some loyal customers who stepped in to save Astor Place Hairstylists.

On the brink of closing down last Wednesday, the third generation owners of this 74-year-old basement barbershop institution in the Village were ready to walk away, but the staff and loyal customers were not ready for that.

“It’s a tremendous day, so happy,” Big Mike Saviello, the longtime manager at Astor Place told PIX11 News.

Saviello, customers, hair stylists and barbers at Astor place hair stylists had so much to be grateful for as Thanksgiving weekend wrapped up.

“I started making phone calls. The mayor graciously took my phone call,” Saviello, the manager at Astor Place Hair Stylists for close to 40 years, told PIX11 News. “A customer Jonathan, my friend was always talking. He knew people.”

Financier Jonathan Trichter had been coming here for 35 years and he put together a group of investors, aged 30 to 50, to save the day.

“It’s a New York institution so we were happy to jump in,” Joel Maute, one of the new owner/investors, told PIX11 News. “We’re overwhelmed with thanks and gratitude from customers and barbers. It’s been wonderful.”

So while Saviello continues to paint on his lunch hour and has an art show at Doll Haus Art Gallery in Bayonne, all the COVID protocols are in place at Astor.

And even though the price of a haircut had to increase by two dollars to $25 and business is off by 80 percent because of the pandemic, staff and customers look to a bright, long term future for Astor Place Hair Stylists.

“Even though it’s still slow in there, we’re doing great,” Wayne Newton, a barber/hair stylist at Astor, told PIX11 News.

“I’m thrilled that they’re still here, hopefully forever,” longtime customer Marla Kesten told PIX11 News.

Another customer who’s been coming her for 15 years brought his wife, two daughters and baby son, some for first time haircuts.

“Thank God. It’s an institution. You can’t lose places like this,” Yuri Kruman, a loyal customer, told PIX11 News“I mean if you lose this, like The Strand, there’s nothing left.”