BENNINGTON — As one Main Street business in Bennington — Allegro — is about to close its doors, another will be opening up just one block east. Chris Blume is hoping to have Blumer’s Barbershop, at 622 Main St., up and running by the end of March.
Blume will be there from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday to host the public for some refreshments and meet the neighborhood.
“Yeah, just a soft opening. Some small food and some beverages,” Blume said. “It’s just pretty much a meet-and-greet sort of thing. No cuts or anything like that. Just check out the place and what’s going on.”
Blume still has some permits to acquire before he can get to trimming and clipping in his new space, but wanted to invite the people in to start cultivating the atmosphere he’s looking for.
“I want it to be a place where people can just come in and vent, talk, just hang out and be themselves,” he said. “Any place I’ve lived, I’ve always tried to make it homey and for people to be comfortable in that space. So I feel like making this barbershop my style and my overall energy, I would think someone would feel comfortable in it, too.”
Blume said the casual, friendly setting he’s aiming for would include patrons being able to enjoy watching a football game while drinking a coffee — or maybe someday even some craft beer.
The 2006 Mount Anthony graduate is going to start off as a one-man show specializing in men’s and boys’ haircuts for the time being.
“It’s just gonna be myself for right now, until I get all my ducks in a row and get everything running smoothly,” he said, “And then once I’ve picked up my clientele, I’ll be looking forward to hiring another barber. I just want to get everything up and going first and feel it out.”
Opening up a barbershop is something Blume has considered for some time now. He was most recently working as a manager for a landscaping company in Nantucket, Mass., but with his father John — who worked as a stylist at the Clip Shop for over 30 years — falling ill, and the onset of the pandemic, Chris grew weary of the seasonal work over six hours from home and moved back to the area.
He credits his father, who passed in October 2021, for helping him arrive back at the idea.
“My dad was like, ‘You always wanted to start your own barbershop and have your own little chill atmosphere ... You care about your looks, your grooming, you cut your friends’ hair. It would be awesome,’” Blume explained.
“Then he passed, and I was still trying to decide if I wanted to go back to Nantucket, and I was like, ‘You know what? It’s time to just jump in the deep end and start swimming with this barber idea,’” he said. “So I started this new profession, went to school out in Schenectady ... it made it easier to make that decision because of the conversation we’d had.”
Blume plans for hours of operation to be Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., once his doors are officially open.