SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - Pete's Haircutting & Styling, a Village institution, will be closing its doors after 40 years at 52 West  South Orange Avenue, according to proprietor Pete Carlucci.

“I’ve been cutting hair in the area for 46 years, and in this building for 40,” Carlucci said.  “Now my landlord tells me I have to get out by the end of February.”  Carlucci said that the letter he received from landlord Mike Lee gave no reason for asking him to leave.  He has been operating without a lease, paying month-to-month for the last four years, but always paid his rent on time.  Lee did not return calls for comment.

“I’ll be turning 66 years old at the end of the month,” Carlucci said. “This is what I get for a birthday present.”   Carlucci was visibly upset when talking about the impending shop-closing.

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“It’s not just giving haircuts for me, it’s like a club,” Carlucci said.  “My customers are my friends.”  Saying he is too young to retire, Carlucci has decided that rather than opening his own shop in a new location, he will be going to work at local salon Moods in Hair, at 81 2nd Street in South Orange (973-762-1070).  He is sad to be losing his privacy and the daily routine he has become accustomed to at his shop and hopes that his customers will find him at Moods in Hair and continue coming to see him there.

“It took all of my life to build it up,” Carlucci said with a tear in his eye.  “It’s like a big basket of feathers that I’ve collected, and now it’s just getting blown away.”