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The cop son of a legendary singing barber in Sheepshead Bay has reopened his father’s shop with a brand new look — months after an accident forced the place to close, and a minor stroke ended his popular pop’s clipping career.
“We’re here to entertain an even greater clientele,” said Albert Mammon, whose father is Jerry May, the popular “Singing Stylist” who opened Mr. Figaro Unisex Hairstyling on Avenue Z in 1977. “We have all the features of a modern salon, but with classic barbershop touches like the hot towels.”
Mr. Figaro had been closed since its ceiling collapsed in June, but it re-launched on Nov. 28 with what Mammon said was a $50,000 make-over. The once-modest shop now features flat screen TVs, wi-fi, sleek couches and even a light projector to broadcast its logo on the sidewalk.
One thing it won’t have is Mr. Figaro himself cutting hair. But May, who suffered a stroke in July, will be by to sing a tune or two on occasion.
In the meantime, patrons can still enjoy the barber’s pipes at their best — by watching video of him singing shown on flat screen televisions conveniently located in front of every seat.
May, who immigrated to the United States from Russia, became a neighborhood fixture and a citywide sensation for singing opera and standards to his clients. He even had a piano in the shop, along with memorabilia that honored old-time crooners like Frank Sinatra. Mr. Figaro’s ran smoothly for 33 years until last year, when the ceiling and light fixtures fell inside the store.
The city deemed the building hazardous and forced it to close until May performed renovations. When May had the stroke in July, his son got involved.
Mammon, who is a police officer at the 60th Precinct, said he modeled the new Mr. Figaro after a Manhattan salon. But it remains to be seen if the place can attract a Manhattan-type clientele.
“I think that people are afraid that we raised the prices,” Mammon said. “But we kept them the same, and we’ll even offer holiday discounts.”
Mr. Figaro charges $13 for a basic haircut, and offers $10 haircuts for senior citizens.
Many people in the neighborhood were unaware that the place has been renovated, but some who have seen it say they prefer the new-school modern to the old-school kitsch.
“It looks nice, especially with the TVs,” said John Babayev, who works at a bagel store around the corner.
And one barber agrees.
“I was a here a year ago, and this is much nicer than before,” said Roman Aslamov, a Mr. Figaro employee. “It’s beautiful now.”
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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