End of an era: Cork’s Baldy Barber announces sale of family business

The owner of one of Cork’s most famous barber shops has confirmed the business is up for sale.

Mick Moriarty, whose father established the Baldy Barber in Cork’s city centre more than 86 years ago, said he is selling it because it no longer has enough customers to survive.

While the pandemic played a role, so too did the operation of so-called “black market” hairdressers that emerged during the pandemic, Mr Moriarty said.

The business, while iconic in Cork, also attracted attention in America when it featured on Fox News for cutting the hair of a non-verbal teen in his parents’ car because he was too anxious to get it cut in the salon.

In a statement on social media about the forthcoming sale, Mr Moriarty said: “It is with a heavy heart and a deep sense of nostalgia that I share this news with all of you.

“Today, the cherished premises that has been home to our family business for many decades is going up for sale.

“If the sale goes through, it marks the end of an era for The Baldy Barber of Blackpool.”

The business, which he described as “a cornerstone of the community for years”, was established by his late father, Peter Moriarty, in February 1937. He said:

From its humble beginnings at number 20 Merchants Quay, Cork, it grew into more than just a hairdressing salon. It became a place where stories were shared, laughter echoed, and bonds were formed.

“The decision (to sell) stems from the challenging reality that the familiar hum of clippers and the lively conversations have dwindled over time.

“The absence of customers in the chairs has led us to this difficult crossroads.

“Despite our efforts to adapt and weather the changing times, it is apparent that the landscape of our beloved community has shifted, and the bustling energy that once filled our salon has waned.

The upcoming sale deeply saddens our family, especially me, and impacts the entire Blackpool and greater Cork community.

“The cherished memories created within these walls are invaluable, and it is heartbreaking to contemplate saying goodbye to a place filled with such sentimental value.

“As the prospect of selling looms, I reflect on the countless haircuts, shared jokes, and the sense of camaraderie that defined The Baldy Barbers.

“It has been an honour serving this community for all these years, and I am deeply grateful for the memories created within these walls.”

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