For an old part of town, there’s plenty new in Saugatuck.
Though — befitting the neighborhood — it’s old-style, retro-new.
Directly across from the train station, Ron’s Barber Shop features wooden floors, an old-fashioned cash register, a striped barber’s pole — and actual “shaves.”
Ron Provenzano opened his 2-chair shop in March (on the site of a former limo company). He always loved the area — “quaint, classy” he calls it — and he’s building up a steady clientele.
About those shaves: They come with hot towels. Men on their way to the city for business meetings like them; after a shave, Ron says, you feel “very revived.” (They cost $17 — not 2 bits.)
A couple of doors down, on the same block, the Green Living Centre sells natural products. It’s not your typical Saugatuck fare, but owners Adam Lutsky and Brian Cleary have found a strong market for reclaimed-wood flooring and formaldehyde-free carpeting; countertops made from compressed paper; composters and rainwater barrels; natural insect killer; organic cotton clothing and bags; a sun oven; soap bars with biodegradable containers; solar bags for charging electronic devices, and solar-powered flashlights (for every 1 purchased, another is donated to someone in the developing world).
The store’s aim is twofold: sell eco-friendly products, and educate customers.
The station location is perfect, says associate Caroline Carrier. “We promote taking the train, and riding bikes here.” There are no bike racks at the station yet, but Green Living is working on that. Also ahead: creating a garden of native plants and grasses across the street, on the shabby bank of the westbound platform.
“Some people never see us. They come off the train with blinders on,” Caroline admits.
“But we’re also getting very good street traffic. Plenty of people love to come in and browse while they wait for their train.”