With nothing more than debris left of his old building, East Side Barber Shop owner Bo Waldrep spent the past week installing chairs and equipment in his new temporary location — with hopes to be back in business by Monday.
Waldrep has relocated his east side business to the West Town Plaza on Main Avenue across from the post office, a short-term solution following the April 27 tornado that shredded sections of downtown. After establishing his reputation over the last 49 years as one of the most beloved barbers in Cullman, Waldrep said he has no plans to call it quits as he nears his business’ 50th anniversary.
“We’re going to keep things going in here until we can build back in downtown,” he said. “We want to get back to our old spot just a soon as possible.”
Waldrep is already drawing up plans for the replacement building, and said he will also be making some improvements this time around.
“We’re going to build it New Orleans-style, so we can have a loft above,” he said.
With entire blocks of downtown still damaged, some businesses from those areas are setting up temporary offices to re-open in the interim. The Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce — along with the City of Cullman and local economic development agencies — has established a database to match business space needs with available properties.
“We’ve probably received 15-20 responses for space available and about five businesses have contacted us looking for space,” Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce President Kirk Mancer said. “We’re not getting into the real estate business, but we are trying to match folks up and do what we can to help.”
* Read the full story in the Sunday, May 15, 2011, edition of The Cullman Times.