Our Person Of The Week Has Been A Downtown Fixture For 58 Years
Over the last 58 years the Dime bank building has had three name changes and hundreds of different tenants, but only one barber–Sam Zeolla.
“You come here, you relax, you talk to Sam, and he remembers you,” said Bill Swor, who’s been getting his hair cut by Sam for nearly 30 years.
“When I first started in this building, haircuts were a dollar 25 back in 1954,” Zeolla said.
When Sam came back from Korea, his mother wanted him to find a career with a future.
“When I got back, they had an opening in this building–and I’m still here,” Zeolla told Detroit 2020.
Over the years, Sam watched as his customers went from being law students to retired lawyers, fathers to grandfathers, and from clients to family.
“It’s just a pleasure. I still have some clients downtown, but the main reason I come back is just for Sam,” said customer George Meyer.
“I love people. I’ve got a beautiful clientele. They’ve been coming back to me for years,” Zeolla said.
“He’s a friend to everyone that comes in the door, whether it’s your first time, or you’ve been here for 40 years,” Swor said.
“I came to him for 10 years, and I’ve never gone anywhere else,” customer Scott Buddy said. “I’ve put a lock on him,” Zeolla joked.
“It’s peace, and you come out looking better than when you came in,” Swor said.
For 58 years of making downtown Detroiters look their best, Sam Zeolla is Detroit 2020′s Person of the Week.
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