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Barbershop for sale after 50 years in the Village

by Steven Felschundneff | steven@claremont-courier.com

Tradition and technology are bringing people together in the hopes of saving a Claremont Village fixture.

CVH Barber Shop, which has been in operation for about 50 years, is for sale at what many would consider an attractive price. For $20,000 the new owners will receive the name, clientele, fixtures, inventory and of course the shop’s rich history.

Jorge Silva and Jacob Ramirez, both 58, say the shop has struggled financially since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, and they can no longer afford to pay the rent and utilities.

“We were going broke, it was either eat or pay rent,” Mr. Silva said on Wednesday in the neat as a pin shop on Second Street. “Last year we received offers of $40,000 to $50,000 but that was before [the pandemic].

They closed CVH back in March as the state went into its months-long hibernation aimed at flattening the COVID-19 curve. Once the county cleared the way they reopened last month but business was slow. Mr. Silva said some of his clients expressed concern about returning and others did not want to wear a mask, which created problems.

When they went into business together in 2010, the shop was called Claremont Village Haircutters. But Mr. Silva thought that was too long so they shortened it to CVH. He then hand painted a sign on the front door that also includes the shop’s hours. The store is just 450 square feet but has been recently remodeled with several black and white pictures of the shop hanging on the wall.

In addition to their shared age, the partners have a lot in common. They both worked in restaurants before going into the hair cutting business, they live in Upland and plan to relocate after the shop is sold.

Mr. Silva plans to move to Tijuana, mostly because of the cost of living, but said he does have family in the area. He plans to continue cutting hair.

“I love this country but it is cheaper in Mexico,” he said. “What I pay for one month’s rent here will pay for four months in Tijuana.”

Mr. Ramirez plans to move to Glendale, Arizona where he has a brother and a sister, although he remains uncertain about his future plans.

The owners got a boost from local realtor Jacob Swodeck who was walking in the Village recently and saw the for sale sign. Mr. Swodeck offered to market the business pro bono, because he felt the shop was a Claremont tradition worth saving.

At the beginning of the week Mr. Swodeck posted an announcement on both his personal and a community Facebook page. The news really took off.

“I had over 60 shares just from my personal page,” he said. “He [Mr. Silva] is just a good guy and my dad knows him. Plus, because of the COVID it made me want to help even more.”

On Wednesday the shop had a handful of prospective owners make appointments and Mr. Swodeck has received many phone calls.

Since the sale hit social media a number of Claremont residents have been sharing stories of patronizing the barbershop as far back as the 1960s.

Claremont native Greg Glass recalls his parents taking him there in the 60s and 70s. He remembers an older man named George was the owner with an apprentice named Joe.

“Once I was old enough to go by myself, my parents gave me money and I just rode my skateboard down there. Sometimes I used to just stop by and hang out there after school from Sycamore. Joe was great. As a kid I thought he was cool,” Mr. Glass said.

People shared on social media stories of getting their first haircut there; one man said he has been a customer for 30 years.

“Our customers are the best,” Mr. Silva said. “We have business people, firefighters, police, teachers and college students.”

In December of 2013, Monique Folden went to CVH to get her hair cut short in advance of cancer treatment.

“He helped me through my chemo hair, bless his heart. I remember going in after cutting all my hair off before my first treatment, I needed to keep my hair clipped as close as possible,”?she recalled. “When he finished, my daughter handed me my beanie cap. He told me I didn’t need it because I was beautiful. I have never forgotten his kindness.”

If you are interested in viewing CVH Barbershop, call Mr. Swodeck at (909) 973-4011.

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