Barber shop trims back

Shop in the Memorial Union remains closed until a new barber is found.

UND student Jason Hahn reads the sign on the window of Jerry’s Barber Shop in the basement of the Memorial Union. The shop has experienced staffing difficulties in past years, preventing them from being open much of the time. Photo by Chester Beltowski/The Dakota Student.

After a long run in the Memorial Union, Jerry’s Barber shop is closed until ownership can find a new barber. Jerry’s has been a primary option for students and faculty to get a haircut, but it might be a while until the shop is running again.

Jerry’s has been in business for more than 50 years at UND.

Jerry Pokrzywinski, who owned and operated the shop, passed away two years ago. His son, Todd Pokrzywinski, wanted to continue his father’s business. The Memorial Union did not have any plans for the space at that time and agreed to let Pokrzywinski continue the barber shop until the union renovated.

“Jerry’s has a number of longtime customers, and they wanted a barber shop to stay in the union,” Memorial Union Director Tony Trimarco said.

Jose Garnica, a UND student, began going to Jerry’s his freshman year in fall 2010 because he had heard it was a good place to go from his friends.

“Jerry was really good. The main reason I went there was because he was so good at what he did,” Garnica said.

Sisters-in-law Sara and Marie Jorgenson had been working for Jerry and continued working after he passed away.  As time went on, the two were unable to stay employed, and that’s is when trouble started for Todd Pokrzywinski.

Pokrzywinski has been having a difficult time finding barbers to run the shop. Jerry’s Barber Shop has been open inconsistent hours — making it difficult to keep customers.

Most customers, who enjoyed going to a barber opposed to a hair stylist, began going to People’s Barber, located at 1826 S. Washington St., in the Grand Cities Mall.  Because of this, Pokrzywinski made an arrangement with People’s Barber to open Jerry’s three days a week for students, faculty and staff to get a new look.

“Up until a month ago things were back on track, but we’re having trouble again,” Trimarco said.

Due to being short staffed, People’s Barber has been unable to come in until they hire a new barber so Jerry’s Barber Shop has been closed with no explanation on its door, which still says it is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Trimarco says that as long as Jerry’s Barber Shop is providing a service to students, faculty and staff, and if the Union does not have a use for the space, he has no problem with the barber shop being there.

However, because of inconsistencies, Trimarco said “There needs to be some decisions made.”

There has been a lot of talk about the future of the Memorial Union and possible renovations. There has been a proposal to renovate the front entrance, Trimarco said.  This project would cost between $6 and $8 million and, if approved, would take a few years to complete. If the proposal was approved, an elevator would  likely be installed where the barber shop is located right now.

“It would be really sad to see it go,” Garnica said. “I’ve been going there year round for many years.”

The future of the long time Jerry’s Barber Shop is unknown and students, faculty and staff will have to wait to find out where they will be getting their haircuts from now on.

Ashley Marquis is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].