Tag Archives: Tammy Stefanidis

Lots Of Years, Locks Of Love At Riverside Barber

Everyone knows the oldest company in Westport: Gault.

Founded in 1863, it’s been a Saugatuck mainstay for 153 years.

At 89 years old, Riverside Barber Shop could be Gault’s grandchild.

But after nearly 9 decades here, it’s probably Westport’s 2nd oldest company.

“Riverside” may be a misnomer. For its first 82 years it was indeed located on Riverside Avenue — a few yards away from Gault.

For over 8 decades Riverside Barber Shop sat on Riverside Avenue (right). DeRosa's restaurant was on the left.

For over 8 decades Riverside Barber Shop sat on Riverside Avenue (right). DeRosa’s restaurant was on the left.

In all those years, there were just 4 owners. John Santella opened it in 1927. His son Lou — the legendary “Mayor of Saugatuck” — took over from John. In 1999 Lou retired, and sold his shop to Pat Vigilio.

In 2009 Pat moved Riverside Barber to Post Road West — above Greg & Tony’s salon — when as part of the Saugatuck Center project, his building and the adjacent DeRosa’s restaurant were torn down.* (Pat donated his barber pole to the Westport Historical Society.)

Pat recently retired. The new owner is Tammy  Stefanidis. She worked for Pat for 7 years, then spent the next few at home, raising her family.

Now she’s back.

Tammy Stefanidis, new owner of the very old Riverside Barber Shop.

Tammy Stefanidis, new owner of the very old Riverside Barber Shop.

Tammy knows the barber shop’s history. She’s proud that longtime — very longtime — customers keep coming back. She doesn’t plan any big changes.

But she does have one interesting offer.

If you’d like to donate your hair to Locks of Love — the non-profit providing hairpieces to children and teenagers suffering medical hair loss — stop in to Riverside Barber Shop.

Tammy will cut it for free.

*Bonus fact: Saugatuck Center was developed by Gault.