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Barber shop, kabob restaurant join Thayer

Spats’ closure saddens community as corporate business crowds out smaller retailers

Staff Writer
Monday, January 26, 2015

The former home of Shades Plus is now occupied by Mighty Sharp Barber Shop, which opened its doors Dec. 18.

In the wake of neighborhood favorite Spats’ closing, new additions to Thayer Street this semester are slated to include a barber shop and a kabob wrap restaurant, owners of various Thayer establishments said.

Walter L. Bronhard Real Estate purchased the building Spats occupied for eight years Nov. 13, and the restaurant and bar closed permanently thereafter, said Andy Mitrelis, owner of Spats, Paragon, Andreas and Better Burger Company, among other properties. The real estate company is currently looking for another restaurant to replace Spats, said Ratha Uy ’05, the company’s accounting manager.

Mighty Sharp Barber Shop replaced Shades Plus after the novelty items store closed its doors last month. Skewers, a kabob wrap restaurant, will open in the space previously occupied by Juniper Frozen Yogurt.

Hai Ly, owner of Mighty Sharp Barber Shop, describes the ambiance of the salon, which opened Dec. 18, as “a little old school, with a modern twist to it.” Hot towel shaves are shop specialty.

For many students, Spats was a popular trivia and nighttime destination. Mitrelis said he sold the building for several reasons, but “the main reason is I am 85 years old, and I want to slow down a bit.”

“I may sell one or two more (properties),” Mitrelis  added. “It’s getting to be too much.”

Senior Nights and various Senior Week events were held at the restaurant, said Class Coordinating Board general manager Sophia Sepulveda ’15.

“It was pretty unfortunate as a class board to see (Spats close),” Sepulveda said. Mitrelis’ other restaurants are also frequent locations for CCB events, she added.

Thayer restaurant and bar Kartabar has adopted the Sunday night karaoke event formerly hosted by Spats, said owner Philippe Maatouk. Kartabar has expanded the karaoke tradition to Thursday nights, Maatouk said.

Patrick O’Neill ’15, a member of the football team, said he and his teammates went to the karaoke nights at Spats often. Kartabar’s karaoke night has “a different vibe,” compared to the karaoke night at Spats, which was “more down to earth,” he added.

Dina Konstantinides, manager of 48-year Thayer Street establishment Andreas Restaurant, said Spats’ closure was one of the several changes from small to corporate businesses that she has observed recently.

The construction of the 257 Thayer apartment complex will also alter the street’s landscape and business potential, several restaurant owners said. The apartment complex “will bring new people,” Konstantinides said.

Thayer Street will see more business as a result of the apartments, Mitrelis said, adding that the change “will be a blessing for the neighborhood.”


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  1. BrownStudent says:

    I’m surprised that there is yet another kabob place. I would have hoped some new variety would move in.

    A nice French restaurant that didn’t charge too much would have been better. Or maybe a German place.

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