Town Square

After decades of providing haircuts, Cambridge Barber Shop closes its doors

Original post made on Jul 5, 2019

After more than 50 years of business spanning two generations of his family, Larry Skarset, 72, has closed the doors of his Cambridge Barber Shop at 382 Cambridge Ave. in Palo Alto ahead of a redevelopment project planned for the site.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, July 5, 2019, 7:09 AM


Posted by Rose
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 5, 2019 at 10:50 am

Rose is a registered user.

We are losing longtime small business tenants because of the greed of real estate owners. They are so eager to raise rents at every opportunity that they are tearing apart the fabric of our community. What kind of a community is it that can’t keep barbers, therapists, shoe repair shops, art supply stores, and on and on. Greed is ruining Palo Alto’s quality of life.

Posted by Jim Girand
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 5, 2019 at 11:30 am

Larry and his father are the 'fabric' that hold a community together........!! Ray was my original barber 40 years ago and when he passed, I 'seamlessly' transitioned to Larry, who is a very fine barber. We helped each other through lost spouses and established an unbreakable bond. The investors who buy these properties and put hard working people like Larry on the 'margins', forcing them to move or quit, should reflect on the changes they are causing. Just look at University Avenue if you want to see what California Avenue will look like.

We are lucky Larry has found a new, smaller place to continue cutting hair.

Posted by Marc
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 5, 2019 at 12:25 pm

@Rose You are absolutely correct. We have to stop these greedy property owners from changing Palo Alto from what it was 50 years ago.

Let's start with the greedy single family property owners. We have to stop them from selling property that they bought for less than $50,000 in the 1970's for millions of dollars. We also have to claw back all the property taxes that they never paid due to Prop 13.

So lets have regulated property sales which limit the appreciation to historical values of less than 7% . So any property bought in the 1970s - 1980's for $20,000 can only be sold for $200K.

No more million dollar home sales. That will bring back affordable housing in Palo Alto. Once that depresses all the property values throughout the city you won't find any commercial development. Then you can be happy that no one is kicked out of their rented space.f

But what's that you say? You want YOUR property to be worth millions of dollars but you want others to never increase the value of their property? You only want to complain how others are greedy but not you?


Posted by Kudos to Mr Skarset...a Survivor
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 5, 2019 at 3:00 pm

Another iconic small business displaced, very recently we have lost the Milk Pail, Barron Park Plumbing Supply, and many others, why can't cities figure out a way to require developers to allocate space to keep these businesses, much like the Rose Market. All the character is being obliterated out of this area. When people visit other countries they gravitate towards 'old town' and historical areas which have a story to tell, not glass office towers, offering nothing to the local community.

All the best to Mr Skarset, hopefully he will acquire new customers from this piece about him.

Posted by bad haircut
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 5, 2019 at 3:04 pm

I tried going to this place when I first moved to Palo Alto and got THE WORST haircut ever in my entire life. I felt bad for the guy (owner) probably cutting my kind of hair for the first time ever so even paid and tipped but had to run to another place to fix my hair. Nice establishment with clear tradition, but are we really losing more than bad haircuts?

Posted by Greedy?? Not when it applies to you.
a resident of another community
on Jul 5, 2019 at 3:10 pm

Anyone who uses the term 'greedy property owners' would never apply that term to themselves if they were selling Palo Alto home for multi-millions, making a very tidy profit...are they greedy too? Or are you going to refuse the windfall and sell the place for maybe 30% of your original purchase price in 1970 because that would be a fair profit? Come on people, cut out the hypocrisy.

OR If you have owned a home in Palo Alto for years, not only are you sitting on a huge profit, you benefit from Prop 13, another travesty. And if you keep the home you can pass that prop 13 assessment to your kids and grand kids. Who's greedy now? the young family who lives next doo might have paid 2.5M for a home just like yours, but pays 20K+ in Prop tax. Do you feel guilty about that? Who is greedy now???

Posted by Marc
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 6, 2019 at 8:07 am

@Kudos to Mr Skarset...a Survivor . Re: Milk Pail The Milk Pail went out of business due to lack of customers. The same reason that the Meno Park Tastee Freeze closed and many other businesses.

So before you blame the "cities" why don't you look in the mirror and ask yourself and your neighbors when was the last time you patronized the businesses that closed. Were you going there every week? Or did you stop going their years ago and just harbour a fantasy that this cute little business existed in the back of your mind but bought all your products where it was cheaper and more convenient?

A lot of these local businesses close and when they do everyone comes out and says "I used to..." that is the operative phrase "used to".


Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 6, 2019 at 8:59 am

When we lose retail and it is replaced with a new development it brings in different types of retail.

When San Antonio was redone, we lost places like a useful shoe shop, a useful sports shop, a useful drugstore, and in its place we have a mattress shop and a high end jewelers. I used the old retail regularly, never bought a mattress and have bought a couple of Christmas gifts in the jewelers but there is not an equal comparison between useful everyday retail and luxury retail.

Posted by Marc
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 6, 2019 at 9:40 am

Why don't we declare Palo Alto to be a Historic Reenactment District like Williamsbury and Brattonsville?

In can be set in the early 1960's. All families will have a male spouse working out of the house and the female spouse will dress up like Donna Reed, stay at home and cook all the food from scratch. Makeup and pearls will be required

Each family will own one vehicle and the at home spouse will walk to the green grocer, butcher, shoe maker, ,etc.

Stores will close at 6:00pm. No internet, computers, home delivery, vaccines, medicine or other semblances of modern technology will be allowed. Life expectancy will be 60 years old, high infant mortality. But everyone will be happy because it is the life they remember from their youth.


Posted by You Want the Area to Remain the Same?
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jul 6, 2019 at 10:54 pm

You want the area to remain the same?
> Stop using Facebook, I stopped in 2007
> Stop using the latest tech
> Stop using Flip Phones
> Encourage kids to not work in the tech industry
> Stop eating at those horrible minimalist Tolix chair restaurants
> Stop getting things delivered to you and go in-person to get everything...
Need I say more?