An 85-year-old, 3,600-square-foot property, located at 119 S. Ann St. and near the Griffith Service Station in Mobile, will soon open as a high-end, retro barbershop and retail vintage store called Mob Town Proper and Vintage. The concept is the brainchild of local business partners Pete Blohme and Nick Dimario.
The duo is probably best known for four popular eateries found in the region: eponymous Panini Pete’s (Fairhope), eclectic Squid Ink (Mobile), beach-themed Sunset Pointe at Fly Creek Marina (Fairhope) and iconic Ed’s Seafood Shed (on the Causeway).
Also included in their portfolio is a podcast studio that produces a show called “Hot Off the Press,” which profiles well-known chefs from across the country and is produced locally.
Established as the face of the firm, Blohme is recognized in some TV-watcher circles due to numerous appearances on such shows as Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” “Guy’s Grocery Games” and “The Great Food Truck Race” with Tyler Florence — all produced by the Food Network.
Adding their latest acquisition, the company manages six business units in three states and employs more than 200 workers locally. The Old Dauphin Way-based space will now also serve as the company’s new corporate headquarters, relocating from second-floor offices situated downtown at 102 Dauphin St., directly above Squid Ink.
“The shop will cover about 1,000 square feet and we want to hire four or five local barbers to work there,” Blohme said. “We also are moving our podcast studio over there and will have a conference room set up for meetings.” He went on to say upgrades and renovations on-site will include new plumbing, HVAC and a roof as well as stripping down the architecture to show off its 1935-era aesthetic.
“We traveled all over looking at different barbershops in Chicago, Portland [Oregon] and Havana, Cuba, to get an idea of how to put together the concept,” co-owner Dimario said. The “hipster retro” barbershop trend emerged early last decade in cities such as New York, San Francisco and Toronto, but, typically, only found traction in massive urban centers across the country. Blohme and Dimario are accelerating the adoption curve by custom-fitting a big city concept into a smaller regional market.
“We want the vibe to be a communal, neighborhood space where people can connect,” Blohme said. “There will be ’80s arcade games to play, a jukebox, gourmet coffee to drink and, since I’m an avid collector already, we’ll have a connected antique shop to look around in while waiting.”
He went on to say the space will also offer beer and bourbon tastings during the year, celebrity barbers will be brought in for workshops, and cross-promotional offers will be set up within the restaurant chain to generate interest.
Also acquired was a plot of blighted residential property, sitting on a third of an acre and located directly across the street at 104 S. Ann St. Plans are in place to convert one-quarter of the property into public parking for the barbershop, with the remainder potentially being developed as residential space along the lines of townhomes or condominiums over the next 18 to 24 months.
An opening date is tentatively set for sometime between the next six to eight weeks, pending ongoing city ordinance approvals required during buildout. More information about the restaurant chain and podcast episodes can be found on social media and at paninipetes.com
Business moves, transactions
High Elevations, a CBD retailer, is leasing some 1,200 square feet of space in Schillinger Place Shopping Center, Suite 5, located at 2502 S. Schillinger Road in Mobile. The shopping center is currently undergoing exterior façade renovations.
Other retailers in the center include Club4Fitness, Pizza Hut, Mediterranean Sandwich Co., Port City MMA, New China One, Mediacom and Brian Casey State Farm. Angie McArthur with Stirling Properties is the exclusive leasing agent for the property.
Caliber Home Loans Inc. is leasing some 1,500 square feet of retail space in McGregor Square, Suite B, located at 3930 Airport Blvd. in Mobile. The company joins anchor tenants Fresh Market and T.J.Maxx in the shopping center and plans to open in the spring of 2020. JLL represented the property owner in the transaction. Jill Meeks with Stirling Properties worked for the tenant
P.S. Taco Company is setting up a second site in Saraland, with plans to open in April 2020. The Foley-based, fast-casual chain is leasing 1,470 square feet of space in the Publix Shopping Center located at 47 Shell St. Meeks with Stirling Properties represented the tenant in the transaction. Brooks Corr with The Retail Companies worked for the landlord.
Chris Harle and Sharon Wright with White-Spunner Realty reported the lease of a 10,000-square-foot aviation hangar that includes a 3,900-square-foot storage area and a 3,000-square-foot office space, situated adjacent to the Bay Minette Municipal Airport, which is located at 11981 Airport Road. Development plans for the property by the new tenant were unknown as of press time.
Dr. Kristin Kalmbacher is relocating to a 1,329-square-foot, leased medical office space in Regency Park at 5901 Airport Blvd., Suite 203, in Mobile. Meeks with Stirling Properties handled the transaction. Expectations are to open in the new space sometime this month.
A local investor has purchased a 10,000-square-foot industrial building located at 3014 Mill St. in Mobile for $268,500. Nathan Handmacher with Stirling Properties represented the seller in the transaction. Matthew Garrard with Milling Commercial Realty worked for the buyer.
TeamLogic IT is leasing some 1,124 square feet of office space located at 1050 Hillcrest Road in Mobile. McArthur with Stirling Properties represented the property owner in the transaction.
Reid’s Auto Salvage located at 6700 Hwy. 45 in Chunchula has been sold to an out-of-town auto salvage company for $80,000. The sale included land and building. James Henderson with Realty Executives Bay Group handled both sides of the transaction.
Safe Haven Church Ministries is leasing some 3,200 square feet of space located at 100 S. Florida St., Suite C, in Mobile. Meeks with Stirling Properties managed the transaction.
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