Most Read
  • The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues

    Ypsilanti police are still searching for the person dubbed the “mystery pooper.” Someone has been, as the Associated Press politely puts it today, “soiling slides at an Ypislanti playground over the last six months.” So, of course, someone purchased an electronic billboard along I-94 near Huron St. at exit 183 that delivers multiple calls for action: For instance,”Help us flush the pooper.” The company that purchased the billboard, Adams Outdoor Advertising, knows how to reach the world in the 21st Century, branding each billboard with a hashtag for the public utilize in its efforts: #ypsipooper. WJBK-TV says the billboard also toggles through other rich lines, such as: “Do your civic doody, report the pooper #YPSIPOOPER” “Help us catch the poopetrator #YPSIPOOPER.” You can have the runs, but you can’t hide. They’re still looking for you, Mystery Pooper.

    The post The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co.

    It’s a really, very cool idea. Paxahau, the good people behind the Movement Electronic Music Festival, are hosting a series of warm-up events, or previews, to the big festival which takes place Memorial Day weekend. On Thursday evening, Movement moved into the Urban Coffee Bean on Grand River in Detroit. While Dj AvA and Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp ably worked the decks, the regular coffee shop goings on continued behind them. It made for an interesting and amusing webcast experience – one guy was taking a nap on camera, while others supped coffee and tappd their feet. It should come as no surprise – the Urban Coffee Co. people have always been big supporters of electronic music. The place includes a DJ stand, and co-owner Josh Greenwood encourages customers to bring their own vinyl and spin on the open turntables. Not on Thursday night though. This being a coffee shop, and it not being particularly late at night, the music remained pretty chill throughout. DJ AvA (real name Heather McGuigan) includes Beth Orton, Madonna, the B-52’s, Daftpunk and David Byrne among her list of influences, so you know that she’s capable of both whipping up a storm and also […]

    The post City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co. appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County

    CNN has a message to all prospective landlords: Head to Wayne County! Occupancy and rental rates are increasing, the report says, creating an opportunity for serious returns on investments. In fact, after comparing the median sales price of homes to average monthly rents in nearly 1,600 counties, RealtyTrac found that Detroit’s Wayne County offers landlords the best return on their investment in the nation. Investors who buy homes in the metro area can expect a 30% gross annual return from rents. That’s triple the national average of 10%. RealtyTrac, an online real estate information company, says the county offers investors low prices for larger homes — with a median price of $45,000. “We’ve got some steals here,” said Rachel Saltmarshall, a real estate agent and immediate past president of the Detroit Association of Realtors, told CNN. “There’s a six-bedroom, 6,000 square-foot home in a historic district selling for $65,000.” For more, read the entire report here.

    The post Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit

    This Saturday, audiophiles across the world will venture out to their favorite independent record stores in search of limited releases that quickly become collectors items. The third Saturday of April marks the fairly new international holiday Record Store Day. There are certainly dos and don’ts to know for RSD — like where to shop, and how to shop. That’s right, there is an etiquette to shopping on Record Store Day and violating that code makes you look like a real asshole. In my experience of celebrating Record Store Day, I’ve seen stores use a few different tactics as far as stocking the special releases. Some establishments will set up a table, somewhere in the store, where a few shoppers at a time can flip through records in a calm and contained manner. Other places will have a similar setup, with all the releases at a table, but shoppers ask the store employees for the releases they want. It’s like a record nerd stock exchange. This process gets loud, slightly confusing and incredibly annoying — this is where elbows start getting thrown. Then, there are places that put the releases on the shelves, usually categorized by size — twelve inches with the twelve inches, seven inches with the seven inches and […]

    The post The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled

    The Detroit Electronic Music Festival, which was supposed to be making a triumphant return this year, has been canceled. A statement on the website says that the festival will be back in 2015. Back in November, Ford Field hosted an announcement party for DEMF, where it was revealed that a new DEMF festival would take place at Campus Martius Park in Detroit over the July 4th weekend. “I’m proud to be involved in the biggest and best electronic music festival in the world,” said Juan Atkins. “The future’s here. This is techno scene.” Not the immediate future, apparently. The DEMF people claim that the M-1 rail construction is partially to blame for the cancellation/12-month-postponement. Read the full statement here. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards

    Despite a turbulent 2013 which saw Metro Times change owners, move buildings and change editors twice, we picked up eight awards at the Society of Professional Journalists Awards on Wednesday night. The big winner was Robert Nixon, design manager, who picked up a first place for “Feature Page Design (Class A)” for our Josh Malerman cover story, first for “Cover Design (Class A)” for our Halloween issue (alongside illustrator John Dunivant), and a second in that same category for our annual Lust issue. In the news categories, our esteemed former news editor and current contributing writer Curt Guyette won third in “General News Reporting” and third in “Best Consumer/Watchdog” – both Class A – for the Fairground Zero and Petcoke Series respectively. Music & Culture Editor Brett Callwood placed third for his Josh Malerman cover story in the “Best Personality Profile (Class A)” category, and former editor Bryan Gottlieb picked up a couple of Class C awards for “Editorial Writing” and “Headline Writing” (third and second, respectively). We were also pleased to learn that our investigative reporter Ryan Felton won first place and an honorable mention for work published while at the Oakland Press. The MT ship is steady now, […]

    The post Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



Search thousands of events in our database.


Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.


Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

MT on Twitter
MT on Facebook

Print Email


It's a man's world

Longstanding barbershop owner recalls the old days

Photo: Detroitblogger John, License: N/A

Detroitblogger John

A cop walks into a barbershop, and the conversation starts by going downhill.

"Hello, John, how you doing, sir?" the Greek barber asks the Detroit cop. He replies with an unprovoked comment questioning the barber's sexual preferences.

The barber retorts, in so many words, that the cop ought to go have sex with himself. And these two consider themselves friends. "You see how he talk to me?" Pete Kithas, the shop's owner, shouts in mock indignation.

Moments later, two more officers come in and the conversation is along the same lines. Erections. Hairlines. Oral sex. In other words, the norm here.

Pete's Barber Shop, downtown on Macomb near Beaubien, is an old-time place, the no-frills kind where neighborhood guys used to go to get their hair cut, escape from home for a while, tell some dirty jokes.

Kithas has somehow managed to keep it, in essence if not in exactness, the same as when he opened it in 1962.

The shop leaves little doubt this is a hangout for the boys. The reading material is the type nobody actually reads: magazines like Penthouse and Playboy and Maxim. The language is locker room. The humor is raunchy.

"It's an old-fashioned barbershop — no kids, no woman, just man," the boisterous 79-year-old Kithas says in his still-thick Greek accent. "Lots of policemens."

Finding him isn't easy. His shop is on a second floor, up a tall staircase and down a long aisle that runs through Metropolitan Uniform, an 85-year-old police uniform and equipment supply store. There's no door between the two businesses, no wall either. Take two steps and you're out of one place and inside the other. And since the cops shopping for new uniforms find themselves feet away from a barbershop, many have become regulars here.

"You see now, you see those guys, we bullshit a lot," Pete says of the coarse give-and-take. "I come here, I make some money. I have a lot of fun. All my customers over the years are all my friends."

His personality,
his life really, is best summed up by a story from his early days.

In the mid-'60s, the three floors above his shop were a flophouse hotel. One day, a man walked upstairs looking for a room but was so drunk the clerk at the front desk wouldn't rent him one. The furious boozer stomped downstairs and threw a temper tantrum on the sidewalk that ended with him kicking in the barbershop's glass door, shattering it.

Kithas was cutting a Detroit Police sergeant's hair when this happened. As the cop heard the crashing glass he leaped out of the chair and ran outside to confront the large man, who took one swing and knocked the officer out cold on the pavement. Kithas saw this, put down his scissors and stormed outside. Then the drunk took a swing at him too.

Big mistake. Kithas was a Green Beret for Greece in World War II and saw combat in the Greek Civil War afterward. "At that time, they take the best, you know what I mean?" he says, bragging. "You had to be strong. We fight hard."

Suddenly Kithas — thick arms, meaty paws — was face to face with the man who just kicked in his door, knocked out a cop and threw a punch at him. "The guy tried to hit me," he recalls. "I said, 'You son of a bitch!'" The angry barber punched him once in the face. Lights out.

Two undercover cops parked nearby had witnessed this mayhem, jumped out of their car and ran at Kithas, who had no idea who was now charging at him. So he took one swing, hit a cop in the face and again with one punch knocked a man out cold. Now there were two unconscious policemen on the ground with a knocked-out drunk lying between them.

The sole cop left standing there, stunned at this carnage, pulled a gun on Kithas and screamed at him to freeze. The barber, fists knitted, face flushed, instead started barking back.

"The policemen hit themselves," he told him, audaciously. "I say, 'Why did you not identify yourselves before I hit you? You seen me with my barber jacket, you see my door broke, you see the guys down, and he tried to grab me. I don't mean to hit him, but he tried to grab me, so what am I gonna do?'" He was let go.

He's got lots of stories like this, and walls covered with pictures that go with them. One shows him as a young Green Beret. Several are of generals whose hair he's cut. There's one of him with Bill Clinton after Kithas basically talked his way into the Oval Office during a vacation.

"You got to have the guts," he says. "If you don't have the guts, you're dead. You gotta have the guts in everything you do. I don't say, 'I'm sick, I'm not going to work.' Bullshit, I get up no matter what." He brags about shoveling the snow without a hat in freezing weather, just to prove he's still tough.

"My wife says, 'You're crazy.' But I take the cold, I take the heat, it don't bother me," he insists. "Nothing bother me."

When he came
to America in the mid-'50s he set up shop in Greektown, back when it actually was a Greek town, crowded with little stores, butchers, restaurants and immigrants from Greece filling little apartments around Monroe Street.

"They still call it Greektown, they got restaurants, but the casino take over." It killed the historic little district, he says. "They got one coffeehouse. There used to be five, six. And not too many Greeks are left. There used to be a lot of Greeks around here."

In his time, he's gone from a big shop downstairs to a little one upstairs, from three barbers working with him at all hours to cutting hair by himself only during the day. Haircuts are $12, a slow rise from the $1.50 they were when he opened four decades ago.

David Silverstein, whose family started Metropolitan Uniform before the Depression, works at the store's counter just feet from the barbershop, and has a front-row seat for the frat party held by Kithas and his customers.

"I have to hear the same stuff over and over day after day," the 59-year-old says, with mock weariness of the barber's endless stories. "Believe me, I've heard everything." He's known Kithas since the barber first moved to Greektown and Silverstein was a 5-year-old dragged to a haircut by his dad.

Kithas listens to Silverstein say these things about him and says, exasperated, "We have argument many times, years and years and years." But then he calls Silverstein his friend anyway.

Between customers, Kithas will sit in his barber's chair, not reading, not talking, just looking forward, relaxing in the enjoyment of being at work still one more day. He doesn't need the money. He just likes the company of the guys.

"My wife say, 'How long you gonna work?' I say, 'Until the day I die.' What's wrong with that? My job is my life," he says. "If I stay home all day I would miss all these people."

After a quiet spell, two more cops make their way in. Two haircuts to be done. And the barber's eyes light up because he sees two more friends.

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus