New plaza opens on Damon Road in Northampton

  • Kevin Ovitt, who is the owner of Kevin’s Haircuts in Northampton, cuts the hair of Ryan Curtis, 12, of Chesterfield. The shop has a new location at the corner of Damon Road and Industrial Drive. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Ovitt in his new space for Kevin's Haircuts in Northampton. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Kevin's Haircuts is now located at the corner of Damon Road and Industrial Drive in Northampton. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Kevin Ovitt, who is the owner of Kevin's Haircuts in Northampton, pauses while cutting the hair of Ryan Curtis, 12, of Chesterfield, Thursday, April 4, 2019. The shop has a new location at the corner of Damon Road and Industrial Drive. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Tools of the trade rest on a shelf at Kevin's Haircuts in Northampton, Thursday, April 4, 2019. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

Staff Writer
Published: 4/14/2019 10:48:32 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Kevin Ovitt’s scissors have never been so busy.

The owner of a Northampton barbershop that bears his name, Kevin’s Haircuts, says business in March hit an “all-time record” for a one-month period for the nearly 16-year-old shop thanks in large part to new digs inside a commercial building on heavily-trafficked Damon Road.

“Everyone thinks it looks super nice in here,” Ovitt said one day last week from inside the new home at the corner of Damon Road and Industrial Drive.

American Dream Realty LLC developed the new, two-building plaza on the site of the Lia Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Northampton dealership that moved to 263 King St.

The plaza is anchored by a free-standing building for Dunkin’ Donuts. Kevin’s Haircuts is located in a nearby commercial building that also includes Marketing Doctor, a digital marketing and online advertising company previously located on Industrial Drive. The last spot in the building has been leased by Hot Head Burritos, a Kettering, Ohio-based chain that will open its first franchise in Massachusetts there.

Ovitt, 40, said the move to the new building will be the last for his business. The Southampton native started cutting his father’s hair when he was 10 year old. Ovitt continued with this interest into his teenage years, when he would give his friends “fresh hair cuts,” before they would hit the town together.

After going to cosmetology school for two years, and then doing his mandatory two-year apprenticeship, Ovitt opened Kevin’s Haircuts when he was 24.

Ovitt said being a business owner at such a young age seemed logical since, “I didn’t want a boss and I didn’t want a real job.”

He still loves his work. “I’m hanging out and talking and I don’t have a boss,” he said. ” I’m pumped to come to work.”

The previous home for Kevin’s Haircuts was 62 King St., in the same building as King Street Convenience and Smoke Shop. Ovitt said that he was offered a spot at the Damon Road plaza by its developers because they knew him from when he was a tenant at another building they own at 128 King St., near one of the Dunkin Donuts they manage.

“They knew I was a good tenant there for 12½ years,” he said.

Ovitt said that he left the 62 King St. location amicably and that he’s been telling everyone that the move was coming for four months.

“Every one of our regulars knows exactly where we are,” he said.

Ovitt also said that his business is attracting many new customers. “We’ve gotten tons and tons,” he said, noting that the parking is much better than the old King Street spot downtown.

A distinctive feature of Kevin’s Haircuts is that it doesn’t have a phone, and never has. Ovitt said that early on this was because he couldn’t afford the phone line, but now it is because “it would probably ring all the time.”

Kevin’s Haircuts doesn’t take appointments and is a cash-only business. It is open seven days a week, and at $12 haircuts for adults and $10 haircuts for children, he said it offers the cheapest haircuts in Northampton.

Although it is certified to do coloring and perms, the shop only cuts hair and facial hair, and Ovitt said that it has no intention to go into other areas. He also estimated that his shop has 3,000 regular customers.

Four people work alongside Ovitt, whom he pays by the haircut, and he said he would consider bringing on additional people.

Ovitt says he has a 10-year lease on his new space, and that he doesn’t intend to ever move: “This is my forever.”

Bera Dunau can be reached at bdunau@gazettenet.com.




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