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More Than a Snip, More Than a Slice

A barbershop and a pizzeria offer more than haircuts and Italian cuisine to the members of their community


New Beginnings Barbershop and Zella's Pizzeria have more in common than Hollins St. as their address; they're both mini art galleries and they go above and beyond for their neighborhood.

New Beginnings, run by Caira Daniels and Troy Staton, has been open for almost 10 years.

 

Zella’s, owned by Cem Ari and Julie Ernst, had been open for about six years.

 

From now until April 2017, New Beginnings has partnered with Kaiser Permanente to have a clinic table in the barber shop.

The table will administer shots, draw blood and check your weight and blood pressure.

“We’re partners with Kaiser to give the immunization shots for kids, flu shots; they check your blood pressure, all of that,” said Daniels, who's been cutting hair for almost 40 years. “It's for the neighborhood and people that come through the shop.”

As clients came in to get their hair cut, they were asked if they were getting a flu shot, many replied “Might as well.” Some clients had already received their shot for the season.

 

On the walls of New Beginnings are art for the season.

“After the new year, we’ll have a different artist display his work or her work, have a reception [clients] come in and the artists will be here,” said Daniels. “They get to talk to the artists. We’ll have a little life fair for people to eat and drink. The artist will sell their work if they want it.”

About a one minute walk up Hollins Street will lead you to Zella’s.

   
 

Zella's serves as the heart of the SoWeBo (South West Baltimore) art festival. Zella’s rotates art to be displayed on their walls every two weeks and hold local concerts.

   

“The art is gone through a local curator who finds the artists and it's not often one artist, it's at least one artist per wall,” said Gabriel Ritter, an employee at Zella’s. “Most of the time it's a different artist featured.”

According to Ritter, who's lived in Hollins for about four and a half years, most of the music played at Zella's is folk.

Zella's is where you're most likely to run into the movers and the shakers of the community.

 
This image is from Greater Baltimore Committee's Twitter account.

The community is currently going through a change with Scott Plank, the brother of the owner of Under Armor, buying all the commercial real estate in the neighborhood. According to Ritter, that makes him the owner of Zella’s build but nothing has changed from that.

   
   

"There's definitely a progressive side to this neighborhood and a very unprogressive side to this neighborhood," said Ritter.


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