Manayunk: A Century of Haircuts on Main Street

Louis Tallarico has been cutting hair on Main Street in Manayunk for over 100 years.
Louis Tallarico has been cutting hair on Main Street in Manayunk for over 100 years.

Louis Tallarico probably knows more about Manayunk than anyone else who lives there. Not only was he born and raised in the community he also owns a barber shop where he regularly receives all the gossip and happenings.

Headquarters, Inc. is found quaintly nestled on 4423 Main St., the busiest street in Manayunk. There is no sign that makes the barber shop identifiable. The ragged, red awning may be deceiving, but Headquarters, Inc. is an establishment that was built in an era where community connections and word of mouth were the main sources of advertising. Tallarico is carrying on that tradition.

“We’ve been here for 100 years. My father came from Sicily and landed in Manayunk to visit his sister and met my mother. They got married and raised six children, and everyone was in the hair dressing or barber business,” Tallarico said.

His humble two-seat barber shop is counterbalanced by his vivacious personality.

The interior of Headquarters, Inc. is indicative of eras past.

“I was born upstairs by a midwife 77 years ago. This building means everything to me, and I still live up there,” Tallarico said.

The walls of his shop are filled with old memorabilia and probably have not seen any sort of renovation for a few decades now. But somehow it all makes sense with the persona of Tallarico.

Tallarico’s view on life could not fit his profession any better.

“I’ve never met a person I didn’t like. I tell them, I’m here to serve you but I’m not a servant. If they like my work they come back, if they don’t then see you later alligator.”

The amount of wisdom he will most likely share with you as he snips away at your hair is priceless.

“I have a lot of nice third and fourth generations that come in here. They have moved away but they still come back. Manayunk means a lot to me, but I don’t know what I mean to Manayunk,” Tallarico said philosophically.

Despite Tallarico’s view of  role in the community his old school charm fits right in with Manayunk’s scene.

The original cash register from the store's founding still adorns the counter space at Headquarters, Inc.

1 Comment

  1. I dated Joanne Tallarico in high school. Her family was in the barber and hair dressing business. She would be 69 or 70 years old by now. The family lived on Main street in Manayunk so I’m pretty sure this gentleman was her brother.

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