Potsdam barber expands to Main Street

Casey Dillon shaves Ted Walrich’s beard Tuesday at his barber shop located at 6548 Route 56 in Potsdam. He just opened a new location at 2 Main Street in Potsdam where he will be working in the afternoon after working at this original location in the morning. Photo by Jason Hunter, Watertown Daily Times.

Casey Dillon shaves Ted Walrich’s beard Tuesday at his barbershop located at 6548 Route 56 in Potsdam. He just opened a new location at 2 Main Street in Potsdam where he will be working in the afternoon after working at this original location in the morning. Photo by Jason Hunter, Watertown Daily Times.

POTSDAM — Hoping to increase the exposure of his vintage style barbershop, town resident Casey J. Dillon is transitioning to a downtown location on Main Street and looking forward to capitalizing on a busy area.

The Potsdam native was up a ladder in slacks and suspenders Tuesday outside 2 Main St., helping his housemate Adam LaRock install a new sign, for which he received permission at a village Planning Board meeting Thursday. Along with the sign, the business will be renamed from simply “The Barber Shop” to “Dillon’s Barber Shop.”

Mr. Dillon said he’s moving his business because with a steady stream of customers — 10 to 20 on an average each day, and 40 on an especially busy one — it’s time to expand and spread the word that there’s a new barber in town.

“Businesses shouldn’t stay static. You’ve always got to be working toward something,” he said. “There’s still a lot of people that don’t know about me, so I figured if I have an option, I might seek more clients.”

Right now, the expansion will not mean more jobs, but he hopes business will pick up enough that he can hire another barber after the first year.

Mr. Dillon, who opened his shop in 2013 in the garage of his house at 6548 Route 56, said he won’t be leaving his old shop behind — at least not right away.

Instead, he said he will work part-time for six months at each location, from 9 a.m. to noon at the old, and from 1 to about 5 p.m. at the new, or until haircuts are done for the day. He explained that this is because many of his regulars come from towns to the south like Hannawa Falls, Colton, Star Lake and Piercefield, and he doesn’t want to lose touch with them or let go of the large parking lot at his house that they like.

“A lot of barbershops fail because they move around too much,” he said. “They’ll move here, then they’ll go across town, this way, that way, and it’s hard for some clients to keep up with that. You never know where someone’s going to be. So I figured I would give people a chance.”

Mr. Dillon said he’s also opening the shop to capitalize on business growth and believes the piece of Main Street he’s now in is just such a place, with neighbors including the Park Bros. coffee business and frozen yogurt shop Chilly Delight, owned by Lori K. and Timothy A. Dillon, his parents.

“It’s a beautiful location; it’s right in the heart of downtown,” he said. “Most people that drive in Potsdam go through this intersection here, and it’s growing.”

Mr. Dillon, who hand-painted the new shop’s signage, said he will also use part of the new space as an art studio, feeding a painting hobby he’s had since high school. And with a lot of blank wall space, he’s looking forward to displaying his work as he did at his old shop.

“It helps me justify paying for downtown, moving my location,” he said.

Mr. Dillon said all the services offered at his original shop will carry over to the new Main Street location, including hot lather shaves, adult and child haircuts in classic and modern styles, and “edge-ups,” or a quick trim between haircuts. Customers are taken on a walk-in basis.

By Alan Rizzo, Watertown Daily Times