After 31 years of business, Frank's Men's Hair Styling, one of the oldest barber shops in Haddonfield (and the one-time site of an iconic Bruce Springsteen photo shoot), closed suddenly last week.
A sign on the front door thanked customers for their "years of dedication," and announced that the Kings Highway location was "permanently" closed.
The beginning of the end for Frank's came in June 2011, . It was not reported then, but patrons and employees widely circulated the news later that Montemurro had taken his own life.
His wife, Suzanne, took over the shop amidst that tragedy; at the time, many of the barbers there, who said the group was like a family, vowed to stay on.
Little more than a year later, however, those ties had frayed, and five of the six stylists at Frank's moved down the street to establish their own shop, MirAno.
“Our mentor was gone. Our friend was gone. Our hearts were broken,” barber Joe Graziano of West Deptford told Patch in August 2012.
“We probably never would have left Frank, but it was time for a new start,” his partner George Miraglia added at the time.
Frank Montemurro's customers were similarly distraught at the loss. He had been the heart and soul of the shop that had served everyone from toddlers getting their first haircuts to older guys coming to grips with balding pates.
News of his death brought remembrances from lifelong patrons and friends, like Haddonfield resident Herb Hess, who likened Montemurro to Cal Ripken, coming to work day in and day out.
“He was a kind person. Everyone who went to the shop loved him,” Hess said. “He wasn’t a complicated person. He enjoyed simple things—his family, going down the Shore.”
Reporter Renee Winkler contributed to this report.