By Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Rick Cook, aka the “Psychic Barber” (per the iconic neon in the window of his shop, featured here in 2009), is moving operations – another West Seattle business displaced by development.
Rick says he recently received 30 days notice to vacate the 19-year home of his Rick’s Barber Shop at 5251 California, to make way for a future project.
His landlord Hasan Ocak, who also owns the adjacent restaurant Ephesus, told WSB he isn’t yet ready to discuss his plans for the new development (a preliminary city filing mentions a 3-story mixed-use building, which is the height limit for the zoning on that site).
But Rick already knows where he’s going – someplace that’s both new and old:
Rick says it’s a classic “Full Circle” tale, starting when he bought The Classic Barber Shop in The Junction in 1980. (Stay with us here …)
Several years after that, Rick’s friend and fellow hairstylist Julie Dodson moved to Seattle. Rick showed her around and introduced her to other stylists. A few years later, Rick sold “The Classic” to Keith Grayson, its current owner. Julie subsequently went to work with Keith.
Even if you’re not a client, you might be familiar with the saga of The Classic – another shop recently displaced by development, leaving its former home near California/Alaska (at the future Equity Residential site) at the beginning of this year. That’s when Keith and Julie moved The Classic to its current location at 5040 California Avenue, when barber John Burmaz, who had long operated Alki Style and Barber Shop there, retired (as reported here).
And here’s where the “full circle” part comes in:
Next month, Rick will relocate to The Classic Barber Shop with longtime associates Keith and Julie. He says, “It’s a good fit; it’s like the band’s getting back together.”
Julie says that she’s very excited about the plans, and Rick adds that with Keith looking at retiring soon, Julie will need someone else to run the shop with. “Things are happening the way they’re supposed to,” is how he sees it.
Julie adds that she and Rick share a number of clients, so sharing shop space makes sense too. Rick will be keeping his current work number (206-933-8733) so clients can still easily reach him.
Rick is bringing along his equipment and his mural. But the big question is, of course: Will the “Psychic Barber” sign move with him, too?
Rick says this is the first question his customers ask, and half of them want him to take it to the new window. His response is that it’s “up in the air right now.” He’ll at least keep the “Barber” portion of the sign at the new shop, but if his colleagues aren’t comfortable with also being “Psychic,” he’ll keep that sign at home.
Meantime, as for the soon-to-be-vacant home of the Psychic Barber – demolition is likely next month. (A permit to demolish the house behind it was granted last year.)