Even for tiny Glen Park, where a surprising number of businesses are in their second, third or even fourth decade under the same ownership, Dalere’s Beauty Salon stands out for longevity.
Glory Dalere is 83 now, a widow, and has long since turned over the operation of the shop to her daughter Marian, who runs the two-chair salon part-time, by appointment only. Six years ago, the Chenery Street operation was moved upstairs from the ground floor, in order to make room for Cheese Boutique to relocate from next door.
That was the third location for the salon, which opened in October 1968 on Diamond Street, in the space where La Corneta Taqueria is now. In March 1975, it moved to its current location when Glory Dalere and her late husband bought the building at 660 Chenery, with its storefront shop.
Young Marian loved the move. On Diamond Street, she had to get a grown-up to help her across the street to buy candy at Diamond Super Market, but on Chenery she could go next door to the Italian deli (later the first Cheese Boutique, now FitGlenFit) without adult supervision. Now, she notes, she is just one flight up from Cheese Boutique’s rack of premium chocolates.
Over the half-century since they opened the doors, the Daleres have seen hairstyles change—no more beehives or bouffants à la Jackie Kennedy or French twists—or blue rinses, for that matter, except on young people who want a change from orange or indigo. Back in the old days, Glory styled wigs and hairpieces for making big hair even bigger.
Marian says three original clients still come in regularly for a shampoo and set. One is from Richmond in the East Bay; she gets a hairstyle like Queen Elizabeth’s. Others don’t date back quite so far, but one regular for decades first came to get her hair done for her prom. And Marian makes regular house calls for another longterm client who is 97.
Marian and her carpenter husband live in an apartment on the second floor, and she spends part of most days helping Glory, who has stenosis and cannot walk unassisted. The Dalere matriarch lives in the family home a couple of blocks from the shop, with one son and her 5-yea-rold granddaughter. Her other son lives next door, and also helps out his mom. “All three of them are really, really good. They help me so I can stay in the house,” Glory said.
It has always been a tight-knit family, and customers were included in that category. “My dad would bring lunch for her, and would bring enough for everybody,” Marian recalled. “My dad had a garden, and brought fruit and vegetables for our customers.”
In return, the customers would babysit Marian and her two brothers after school and on Saturdays, reading to them and helping them with their homework. The kids would run errands for Glory, or go collect cigarettes and put in drinks orders that the local bars would provide to customers under the dryers. Glory would stay open late to accommodate working women, including the nuns at nearby St. John School who taught her children. The salon was, and remains, unisex; she cut priests’ hair, too.
Now, Marian’s customers babysit her niece—the third generation of Dalere females, Glory points out.
Marian says they are still “brainstorming” about how and when to celebrate the half-century mark. It will be low-key, she says. But 50 years is an impressive record for any neighborhood family business. And there is no plan to shut the salon anytime soon.
A number of other neighborhood business owners still get their hair cut at Dalere’s—Paul Park of Buddies Market, Rick Malouf of the Cheese Boutique, Tommy Baik of Glen Park Dry Cleaners.
Marian says she used to cut Manhal Jweinat’s hair until he started shaving his head. Manhal is the proprietor of Higher Grounds Coffee House, which he has run since 1982, and Manzoni restaurant, which will celebrate its seventh anniversary in December. He plans to retire, he said, only “when I cannot work anymore.”
Tommy Baik is also a second-generation business owner in downtown Glen Park. His parents, Korean immigrants, bought an existing cleaners in 1984, and Tommy took over the management from them when he turned 21, in 1989. It’s still a family affair. Tommy’s wife Ki does the alterations, and their son, who’s attending San Francisco State University, sometimes helps out behind the counter on weekends. Their daughter used to help out, too, until she graduated from college.
Young Kim, also a Korean immigrant, took over Tyger’s Coffee Shop, at 2798 Diamond St., in 1997. He is the third owner of the breakfast and lunch spot, where the pancakes and BLTs and turkey-sausage omelets have always been neighborhood favorites on a menu that seems frozen in time. “Most customers say, ‘Don’t change, don’t change,’” he said.
His wife used to work alongside him, but she has retired. Young shows no signs of slowing down. Has he taken a vacation? “Not yet.”
Two other neighborhood enterprises, Perch and Eyedentity, are celebrating 10th anniversaries this year. Zoel Fages’s Perch hit the 10-year mark on Feb. 20. “It’s been an interesting ride,” he said. “Every year is different.” His eclectic stock reflects the preferences of shoppers. The bath-body and candle collections are more popular than he had expected, while jewelry remains a best-seller. He started with a wall case of greeting cards, but has since added three free-standing spinners. Infant clothes, stuffed animals and kids’ toys occupy their own corner, while housewares, books and accessories fill the middle of the shop.
At Christmastime, he sells ornate wreaths and decorations as well as gifts and stocking-stuffers. And the imaginative window displays show off wit as well as wares. The one constant is good taste: “I won’t sell what I don’t believe in,” Fages said.
Optometrist Carrie Lee opened her eyeglasses emporium at 2786 Diamond St. on April 8, 2008. She picked Glen Park for her new shop because “it seemed to be a community most people want to be a part of.”
She has noticed an influx of families over the past decade. Little kids who got their first glasses in her shop are now growing up and going to high school and college in Eyedentity glasses. She and another optometrist share eye-exam duties, and stylish frames demand checking out. “We haven’t been a super-trendy office to begin with, but we try to have a little bit of fun with glasses,” Lee said.
Married to a pharmacist and the mother of a 19-month-old daughter, Lee has opened another optometry shop on the Genentech campus in South San Francisco, but plans to celebrate her 20th anniversary in Glen Park in another decade—“landlord permitting, yes. I plan to be here for a long time.”
Laurent Legendre will start Year 11 in business at Le P’tit Laurent on July 4. He’s back at 699 Chenery full time, after a slight detour to 24th Street in Noe Valley. Last year he opened a second French bistro, called Chez Marius, but sold it when he got an unexpected offer at a price too good to pass up, he said.
His Glen Park enterprise makes room for his kids. One daughter is working there until she moves to Oregon, and his two sons, 9 and 13, can be seen on the occasional weekend supervising their father as he unloads supplies around back.
Since returning to Glen Park, he’s started weekday happy hours with $1 oysters, among other bargains. “I want to be part of the neighborhood,” Laurent said, welcoming families with kids and older customers as well as young professionals. But he does miss a couple of Noe Valley details: wider sidewalks with benches and baskets of flowers.
Other familiar faces have been part of the neighborhood for the better part of two decades: Eric Whittington at Bird & Beckett Books and Records (19 years), Paul Park at Buddies Market (14 years) and Joe Schuver at Destination Baking Co. (18 years).
But for sheer longevity, no one comes close to Dalere’s Salon.
One family sure to be at the Dalere celebration of their 50th anniversary are Rick and Nada Malouf, owners of Cheese Boutique. It was Marian Dalere’s idea to lease the salon’s ground-floor shop to the Maloufs when they lost their lease and were forced to move from their previous site next door.
Marian, with Glory’s assent, decided to downsize her own operation to save the beloved neighborhood deli, now in its 26th year, six of them in the present location.
On May 15 the Maloufs attended their own celebration, at City Hall, where they accepted the Small Business of the Year award for District 8. They had been nominated for the distinction by Supervisor Jeff Sheehy, a Glen Park resident and a regular at the shop.
Posted prominently on Cheese Boutique’s wall is the framed citation that took note of their award. There’s also a photo of the Maloufs, standing on either side of the much taller supervisor, all three of them smiling broadly as Rick holds the citation and Nada holds a big bouquet of spring flowers.
After the ceremony for the Maloufs and the 10 winners from other supervisorial districts across the city, there was a reception with refreshments— but, Rick noted, “no hummus.”