Retailing

Three decades, 1 barber

Staff WriterApril 10, 2009 

After 30 years working in various barbershops around the Triangle, Tracy Gregory has finally opened his own.

Classic Barber Shop opened Monday at 422 E. Williams St. in Apex.

"It's something I should have done 20 years ago," said Gregory, 52, who lives in Fuquay-Varina with his wife, Laurie.

For awhile, Gregory said, he wasn't sure the traditional barbershop would make it, because of mega-chains like Sports Clips.

"But they actually created demand," he said. "Those places are constantly hiring people and constantly turning people over. People always end up having different people cut their hair."

And now, Gregory is betting his own future on the future of the independent barber business.

So far this week, business has been slow, he said, helped in no part by the cold weather.

"The sooner it warms up, the better," he said.

Right now, Classic Barber Shop is a one-man operation, though Gregory said there is room for expansion. He eventually would like to lease the shop's other stations to a few other barbers and women's stylists.

The shop is closed on Sundays.

Longtime Raleigh barbecue staple Ole Time Barbecue is planning to open a second location in Garner next month.

At 1701 Pine Winds Drive, the new store sits across from the Wal-Mart Supercenter. The target opening date is May 11.

And if you are really interested in the progress, the company is posting photos and updates on its Web site, oletimebarbecue.com ..

The restaurant at 6309 Hillsborough St. in Raleigh has been open for 16 years.

On the UNC-Chapel Hill campus, the renovation of the Brinkhouse building off Columbia Street is nearly complete.

Quizno's and Chick-fil-A have signed on for two of the three spots for food vendors in the new food court area. The future of the third spot is still undecided.

The restaurants are expected to open in August.

In Raleigh, the European Espresso & Wine Cafe that opened about a month ago in the new 222 Glenwood building on Glenwood South has closed already. The owner could not be reached.

In Cary, the East Coast Wings shop on Grande Heights Drive has closed. But there is some hope for fans.

According to the company's Web site, that store is "Under Owner Transfer. Will reopen in new location - coming soon."

OTHER ITEMS: In Raleigh, Kitchen & Bath Galleries has completed a 6,000-square-foot expansion of its showroom at 8411 Glenwood Ave. The company has partnered with Capital Tile and Designer Floor Fashions and is showcasing products from those companies in the showroom as well. ... Also in Raleigh, El Cerro Bar & Grill is open in the old Rock-Ola Cafe spot at Mission Valley Shopping Center off Avent Ferry Road. ... In Wake Forest, GC5 Vintage & Gifts is open at 430 S. White St., selling new and vintage handbags, jewelry and antique furniture and glassware. The store is closed on Mondays.

sue.stock@newsobserver.com, 919-829-4649 or takingstock.newsobserver.com

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