Male Image, the barbershop near the corner of Market and Sanchez in the Castro, is not going to reopen whenever barbershops are allowed to in SF. Longtime owner Gary Mootz reportedly plans to retire.
Hoodline picked up the news following a Facebook post by Mootz, in which he writes, "It's with heavy hearts that after 40 years the Male Image Barbershop will not reopen! We would like to thank all of our great customers we have had all these years!"
Mootz opened the shop with his late partner, Jim Heady, in August 1979. Known for its $18 haircuts, the place still had much of its 70s vibe intact, including wood paneling and vintage gay porn for perusing while you wait. And several of the barbers had been working there for decades, with one, Philip Stover, staying on since 1982.
Mootz and Heady also opened Image Leather next door — which was one of the last remaining leather shops in the Castro when it closed in 2007. And Heady passed away in the mid 1990s.
The barbers, with the exception of James Romero who has also decided to retire, are looking to set up shop elsewhere. Stover and coworker David Hone are in the market for chairs somewhere else in the neighborhood, according to Mootz's post.
"Thank you so much for all the great times we have been able to serve you!" Mootz says.
The closure of Male Image joins a series of other permanent retail closures around the neighborhood due to the pandemic — in an area that care barely afford even one more retail vacancy. Recent weeks have also seen the closure announcements of neighborhood pet store Best in Show, supplement retailer Active Nutrition, the restaurant Castro Republic, and the Verizon store next door to Male Image where Leather Image used to reside.