Hobart sprouting new businesses
By Karen Caffarini Post-Tribune correspondent September 23, 2012 12:00AM
Shirt Deli owner Scott Thompson, left, helps Kenny Edmond with a jersey order for his softball team at the Hobart business Wednesday Sept. 19, 2012. | Andy Lavalley~Sun-Times Media
If you go
All Starz 2 Barber Shop and Beauty Salon
Where: 326 Main St., Hobart
When: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays; walk-ins welcomed
Where: 322 Main St., Hobart
When: 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday
Updated: October 24, 2012 6:35AM
HOBART — Two new businesses have opened in this city in the last few months and a third is expected to open its doors next month, all in the 300 block of Main Street, boosting the revitalization of the downtown district.
Shirt Deli, which does screen printing and graphics with a twist, has moved into 322 Main St., and All Starz 2 Barber Shop and Beauty Salon opened next door, at 326 Main St. Expected to open down the street by the end of October is Von’s Victorian Tea Room.
Scott Thompson, owner of Shirt Deli, said he was drawn to downtown Hobart because its atmosphere fits in with what he’s trying to do with his business.
Indeed, there is plenty of deep purple to be found inside the store, in T-shirts, sweatshirts, onesies for babies, and more, all of which can be custom printed to display Brickie pride.
But he doesn’t do just Brickie spirit wear. He has done T-shirts for charity walks, golf outings, bachelorette parties among others.
Thompson said he specializes in direct-to-garment printing that provides full-color screen prints on the spot. He does both single and large orders.
What makes his shop unique is he operates on the same concept as a deli.
“The person picks out the shirt, color, size and design. Once it’s all put together, we wrap it up like a sandwich and put it in a bag with a bottle of Coke and a bag of chips,” Thompson said.
Thompson, a Portage resident, said he carries sizes from newborn to 5X. In addition to T-shirts. He also does wall and vehicle graphics.
Next door, 3-year-old Vincent Gonzalez, of Hobart, patiently sat on a crate in a barber chair as All Starz 2 owner Victor Andrew “Drew” Concepcion gave him a buzz cut.
“I look awesome,” the young customer said as he looked at the finished product in the mirror while his dad, Michael Gonzalez, looked on.
Concepcion, who’s also an ordained minister at Defender’s Faith Center in Lake Station, is not just a barber for young men, but a role model, too.
“A lot of young men went to barber school because of this,” he said.
Concepcion said he has been operating All Starz Barber Shop and Beauty Salon in Lake Station for about five years and was looking to branch out to a second location.
“This location and the price were right and the people were welcoming. The Lord opened doors for me,” he said.
Plus, he said many of his customers are from Hobart.
Unlike his Lake Station salon, he only cuts hair for men and children in Hobart. He said he didn’t bring a beautician here because there is a beauty salon next door.
One unique service that he does offer, however, is the old-fashioned hot towel razor shave.
“The older men are loving it,” he said.
Concepcion said so far business has been good at his Hobart location. He has four chairs and two to three stylists daily at the new location, with more stylists on weekends, and is aiming for 10 chairs.