SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

January 25, 2014

Downtown Peabody businesses must vacate proposed hotel site

(Continued)

“I didn’t save enough of my First Communion money to wait,” Serpa said, joking. Yet, he has no hard feelings toward Bandar.

“It’s nothing personal. It’s just business. The guy bought the building,” he said. Serpa originally bought George’s Barbershoppe from barber and retired police officer George Couris. He retained the name and built a loyal clientele, people who know where to find him.

“I just had a client come all the way from Newton, N.H.” To retain such customers, he is seeking a new spot downtown where parking would be convenient.

If it can be arranged, Serpa won’t rule out a return to the O’Shea Building. “

Maybe they can section off three (hundred) to 500 square feet for me. But that’s in a year and a half.” He expressed more concern over the fact that while he once had the downtown haircutting business to himself, a number of barbers are now operating nearby.

Serpa’s neighbor Yanny Zhu at China Corner restaurant seems less resigned to moving out.

“I’ve not really decided what I am going to do,” she said, adding that it is something that she needs to discuss with the developer. “We still need to have a talk.”

Business is good right where she is, Zhu said. “I love the area.”

A furniture store also operates on the ground floor. Bandar declines to discuss whether these businesses hold leases and what that might mean.

“We have the option of doing what we need to do,” he said.

Serpa, meanwhile, described himself as a tenant-at-will.

Alan Burke can be reached at aburke@salemnews.com.

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