EAST VILLAGE, Manhattan (PIX11) — Astor Place Hairstylists has been a part of the New York landscape since 1947.
It has catered to celebrities, to politicians and to working class New Yorkers who have kept the hair salon thriving. That is, until the pandemic. The economy tumbled and so did business. The iconic salon was poised to close two years ago, but a few well-heeled clients refused to let that happen.
So it’s understandable that the day before Thanksgiving was a meaningful time for a celebration. It was two years to the day the salon was saved from closing its doors. It also saved the jobs of 40 barbers and hair stylists, including Big Mike Saviello, the manager and part owner.
His passion for painting adorns the walls of the cavernous shop. He says it’s the customers who are credited with keeping the shop alive for so many years.
“This is like the United Nations,” he said. “People from all over the world, from different walks of like come here, and they bring an energy and vitality that is part of New York.”
Four generations of one family operated the salon for almost eight decades, but the COVID pandemic proved to be too much. On the verge of closing in 2020, a knight in shining armor stepped in with a group of investors.
Jonathan Trichter and other deep pockets, including former Hillary Clinton aide Howard Wolfson, pollster Jeffrey Pollock and gaming mogul Jeff Giural banded together to prop up the business to ensure it would continue to be a global arbiter of style and chic.
“It had to be saved,” Trichter declared. “We saved 40 jobs and a New York institution.”
Scotty Eisenstein, 70, has been cutting hair at the salon for 43 years and he has no intention of stopping. He has a clear reason for why he keeps clipping hair.
“Because I enjoy it,” he said.
Former Mayor Bill de Blasio has been a client since the days he attended NYU.
“I come here because of the people, the energy, the spirit of this place says New York,” he said.
With the 40 folks still clipping and styling hair, the salon has been guaranteed at least another 10 years of life. Its owners say it is a cut above the others because it is more than a hair salon, it’s the very essence of New York.