Unisex Hair Styling closing after 41 years in the Eastcourt Mall

Nick Seebruch
Unisex Hair Styling closing after 41 years in the Eastcourt Mall
Jorge Luis is closing Unisex Hair Styling after 41 years of the business being in the family (Nick Seebruch/ Seaway News).

CORNWALL, Ontario – In 1975, Jorge Luis’ father took over the Unisex Hair Styling Salon in Eastcourt Mall and it has been run as a family business ever since.

“It stands out in my mind because it coincided with the third Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier fright, Thrilla in Manila,” said Jorge.

Jorge took over the business from his father in 1991 and ran it with his wife Maria until her death in 2008.

Now though, the future of the mall is changing, and Jorge does not see a hair salon in the mall’s future.

“Since 2012 or 2013, we’ve been losing a lot of stores and we lost a lot of traffic with it,” he said. “I tried to keep it going, there were sometimes where I wouldn’t take a pay.”

Jorge hoped that things would change when the mall was sold this past summer, when Rio Can, the Eastcourt Mall’s former owners sold the property to Plaza Masters.

“At first I was hopeful they’d be filling in some of the stores, but that was not to be,” said Jorge.

Plaza Masters is planning on re-configuring the Eastcourt Mall into a strip mall. Already new walls are being built and old stores are being cleared away.

“They were very honest with us when they took over,” said Jorge. “They took over the property on July 1 and a couple of days later they told us about their plans.”

Jorge decided to close the hair salon now because he feels it won’t survive in the new mall format.

“My prediction is that you won’t see a hair salon going into the strip mall,” he said.

“I’m very proud of this that it has been a family owned business for 41 years. You don’t see that a lot in this day and age,” he continued. “When I see someone who’s been in business for 20 plus years I know that they have put in hard work and made sacrifices.”

Jorge said that he will miss all of the good memories and stories that he has experienced over the years.

“I want to thank the loyal customers that we’ve had over the years,” he said. “I got to meet and connect with a lot of great people. I feel horrible for my long-term customers and employees. I agonized over this and tried to keep it open and tried to plug the holes, but I had to close it in the end.”

Unisex Hair Styling closed its doors on Sunday.

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