Local eatery Mesa Pizza to expand after closing of Dinkytown Barbers

After 87 years in the business, Dinkytown Barbers closed shop May 1. Editor's Note: This is the first in a two-part series examining businesses around campus. Next week's will look at the potential demise of privately owned stores in the area.

After 87 years of snipping, buzzing and shaving, Dinkytown Barbers is finished with the hair business.

On May 1, the keys to the front door changed hands from Terrie Mau, the shop’s owner of 10 years, to Dave Powers, the owner of next-door business Mesa Pizza.

Powers said that renovations should be complete by the start of fall semester. The abandoned barber chairs will be swapped for customer seating.

Dinkytown Barbers, originally the International Barbershop, opened its doors in 1921 where Mesa stands today, but moved next door into its current location in September 2001.

Mau said the barbershop paid for itself and had a loyal customer base, but that she was “wearing thin” managing both Dinkytown Barbers and her Moler Barber School of Hair Styling.

“I can be as sentimental about it as I want to,” Mau said. “But the bottom line is that business is business.”

Dennis Anderson, a barber at Dinkytown Barbers for the past 36 years, said none of the employees could afford to buy the shop.

Mau, however, said that no one was prepared to purchase it, though some workers might have been able to. She did receive several outside offers, she said.

Most of the offers were from individual barbers looking to set up shop among the other five barbershops in Dinkytown. But the highest offer was from Mesa’s Powers, who said he looks to expand his “really, really cramped” pizza parlor.

“Because of the lack of space, we have to take the tables and chairs out at night to deal with the massive crowd that comes,” Powers said. “We should have 1,000 square feet, but we have 500 square feet, so we do the best we can.”

Clayton Harrison, an economics senior and frequent Mesa customer, said the extra seating will help Mesa’s business.

“(Mesa is) not a place where you go in to get pizza and eat it there,” Harrison said. “If I’m getting Mesa I’m going to walk wherever I’m going and eat it (on the way).”

Besides the extra dining space, Powers plans to expand the kitchen and cooler, get two additional ovens and extend Mesa’s delivery service, which is currently run out of the store’s basement.