There’s a Hartford barber that’s a cut above the rest.
But after decades in business, the coronavirus crisis is cutting his beloved career short at his barbershop on Prospect Street, although his family has been pushing him to retire for years.
“Well, I’m 81 years old. I don’t want to go through all this, the way you have to go through clean-up, everything, every customer. Too much for me. I decided at my age - good to enjoy the rest of my life,” said Vincent Dinatale laughing.
Dinatale has been working as a barber since he moved to Hartford in 1957 by way of Libya, Italy, and Venezuela.
“Few customers I’ve been taking care of for over 50 years. I’ve been taking care, one guy over 60 years,” he said. “To stick around with me that means I did a good job.”
Walking into his barbershop in the Travelers building is like stepping back in time.
His barbershop is a hint of nostalgia in Hartford, where credit cards have never been accepted.
Dinatale’s family says they’ve been trying to get him to slow down the past couple of years, but he wasn’t budging until the COVID crisis closed down his barbershop.
His son says at 81-years-old, his father was at high risk for going back to work.
“Wearing a mask afraid to go out in public,” said his son, Vinny Dinatale. “Just his routine has been broken.”
So after decades of cutting hair in the Capital City, Vincent Dinatale says it’s time to put his clippers down.
Born in Libya before moving to Italy, Venezuela, and then to Connecticut, he says Hartford has been a wonderful home.
“This is my last stop,” he said laughing.
But with his sweet smile, lighthearted laugh, and lifelong hard work ethic, Dinatale will still have some at home haircuts on his schedule like those for his son.
“It’s been good to me. I’m happy what I did. I took care of the people and now time to relax,” said Dinatale.