Roslyn Heights barber celebrates golden anniversary

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Holiday Haircutters owner Jimmy Lima, left, has been cutting Albertson resident Joe Grimaldi's hair since he was 9 years old. (Photo by Amelia Camurati)

Jimmy Lima has had the same job since he emigrated from Italy 50 years ago.

Lima came to the United States the day before Thanksgiving of 1967 when he was 18 years old. A few weeks later on Dec. 15, he began working as a barber at Holiday Haircutters at 389 Willis Ave. in Roslyn Heights, and he’s been in the same spot ever since.

A photo of Jimmy Lima when he was 18 years old sits proudly near the cash register in Holiday Haircutters. Photo by Amelia Camurati)

“I’ve been glad to serve these people over the years, and I hope to continue to serve as long as I’m here,” Lima said.

Lima had worked as a barber in Palermo, Sicily, for two years before making the big move across the Atlantic Ocean.

When he arrived in America, his cousin was already working at Holiday Haircutters and said they needed another pair of hands in the shop.

Sixteen years later, in 1985, Lima bought the place from the retiring owner.

The barber shop is tucked along the side of the shopping center anchored by CVS and Starbucks on Willis Avenue just south of Northern State Parkway.

Though people have moved in and out of the neighborhood during the last half-century, Lima said the biggest changes to his business have been the types of hair styles in fashion throughout the decades.

“When I started over here, it was mostly about the flat top,” Lima said. “Then the long hair came in, and now it’s more classic.”

Lima said the shop used to do women’s haircuts as well but now focuses on men and boys styles, offering a full array of services for cuts and coloring.

Albertson resident Joe Grimaldi said he’s been coming to see Lima since he was 9 years old not long after he started at Holiday Haircutters.

“Jimmy does the greatest job in the neighborhood,” Grimaldi said.

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