Manayunk: Tuti’s Barber + Stylist

Nick Tuti of Tuti’s Barber + Stylist looks on while remembering the old Manayunk.

Nick Tuti of Tuti’s Barber + Stylist looks on while remembering the old Manayunk.

Over the past 30 years, Manayunk has gone from an afterthought on the Philadelphia landscape to one of the hottest destinations in town. What remains of the area from before 1980 is small, but a few store owners did survive the transition. One such store owner was Nick Tuti of Tuti’s Barber + Stylist.

Tuti has worked at the shop since 1976, though it opened in the 1940s. When he started working there, Tuti said, Manayunk was nowhere near the thriving community it is today.

“If you go back in that time period, most of the stores were shut down here, there was hardly any business, no restaurants, a couple of mom-and-pop type bars,” Tuti said.

Now, however, this Northwest Philadelphia neighborhood is dotted with stores and restaurants that cater to a slightly different crowd.

“The market’s changed…10 o’clock, it’s a party town, and the bars take over, and the college kids roam the bars,” Tuti said.

Tuti admitted that business had been down lately, though he did not think the change in demographics in the area was to blame. Instead, he said he was hurt by the same thing plaguing businesses around the country–the recession. There have been other negative factors from the change in times as well.

“We get the aftermath, someone getting sick and throwing up on your pavement. Then you gotta get up in the morning and wash that off,” Tuti said.

At the end of the day, though, he was optimistic about the changes Manayunk has gone through.

“You gotta take the good with the bad,” Tuti said. “Had it not been for the revitalization of the area, [Manayunk] would have been down the tubes.”

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