with Young Friends of the Preservation Alliance and South Street Headhouse District
by Shannon Pitt
An exploration of the legacy businesses along South Street created an atmosphere that was equally fascinating and surprising. 24 Philadelphians, from all neighborhoods and of all ages, grouped together in Headhouse Square before venturing down South Street and meeting local business owners that have been operating their businesses for 30+ years in the same location. Bill Arrowood of South Street Headhouse District led the tour, providing interesting anecdotes about additional businesses that weren’t specifically featured.
Cathy Blair, of Rocker Head Salon, shared with us that her granddaughter is now working beside her in the salon that has been serving men, women, and children since the 1980s. Julia Zagar, of the Eyes Gallery, told us how she and her husband were inspired to open an artisan shop from their journey through Peru in the 1960s. They shipped 20 cartons of art and fabric back to Philly to start their shop. This October, the Zagars are celebrating 50 years on South Street! Mitchell Cohen, of Cohen & Co Hardware, told us how he inherited the hardware shop from his father, who inherited it from his father, who founded the shop 107 years ago. Tom Vasiliades, of South Street Souvlaki, laughed as he talked of being thrown out of NYC in 1972, only to move to Philly and open his shop on 1978.