Community Theater renovations cause shops to close, relocate
FAIRFIELD — Longtime Post Road landmark Barber Serville on the Post Road will shut its doors next month after 61 years of operation, as Fairfield Community Theater renovations require some of the tenants on its block to either close or relocate.
According to the shop’s longtime owner Joe Vaccarella, he had been thinking about retiring already when he heard that he would have to move to stay open. Vaccarella decided to close, ready for retirement and happy with his many years of business.
“It’s been a good run,” he said. “People have been outstanding.”
The shop’s three other barbers have all found new jobs, with two going to Fairfield Barber Shop and one taking a position in Milford.
Kleban Properties recently acquired the long-defunct Community Theater for an estimated $3.85 million, and Sacred Heart University is signing a 10-year lease to turn the space into the Sacred Heart University Community Theater.
Kleban Properties will begin an extensive $3 million to $4 million renovation to bring the building up to code, including replacing the roof, HVAC and electrical equipment. In June, the RTM approved a 10-year tax abatement plan to aid the project. In order to begin this process, Kleban Properties is asking businesses in the building to either close or relocate to one of Kleban’s many other properties in the area.
Linda Kavanagh, a publicity agent for Kleban Properties, confirmed that while some tenants such as Vaccarella chose to close their stores, others were excited about the chance to move to a new location.
“There were so many different situations,” Kavanagh said. “[Kleban is] so deeply rooted in the community, and they have all these amazing spaces. Some of [the tenants] were even excited to make the space change.”
Park Lane Opticians, for example, is moving to a Kleban space across the street after being located next to Barber Serville for 59 years. Old Post Tavern is able to remain in its current space because the renovations won’t affect its operations.
The new Sacred Heart University Community Theater is expected to open its doors next spring or summer.