After 57 Years, Paco’s Barber Shop to Close Nov. 18, in town recently for his 20th class reunion, had to make time for his last haircut at Paco’s Barber Shop.
“I looked online when I was planning my trip and I saw he was retiring,” said Behlendorf, a La Cañada High School graduate who’s a professor of Homeland Security at the University of Albany in New York. “I thought he might have closed already, but when I saw he was still open, I thought, I’ve got to get out there! He’s the best barber I’ve ever had.”
All of the goodbyes have not been easy for the shop’s owner, Frank “Paco” Ruiz, but he’s prepared to say a lot of them at a “Thank you, La Cañada” party from noon-3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 19, the day after the shop closes following 57 years of quality haircuts, conversation, neck massages, lollipops and laughs.
The party will be held at the shop in the Plaza De La Cañada Shopping Center at 633 Foothill Blvd., and will feature live music. Neighboring restaurant Los Gringos Locos will provide food, Ruiz said.
“I’m looking forward to that,” said Ruiz, an Air Force veteran who served as the Fiesta Days grand marshal in 2016. “It will be a grateful celebration.”
Behlendorf, like many in La Cañada Flintridge, grew up visiting Ruiz and his team at the shop, even returning from college in San Diego for a proper trim.
“It’s an institution,” Behlendorf said. “All the stories and the shared experiences that have happened in this shop, you can’t quantify it.”
Alas, Ruiz said, “It’s time.”
He plans to spend time playing golf in Palm Desert with his wife, Mary Lou.
“She whoops me,” he said. “Hopefully, I’ll be able to improve. That’s something I look forward to. But I’ll miss this.”
— Mirjam Swanson