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Friday April 25, 2014
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An Area in Flux



At the Gentleman's Barbershop on Packard, barber/owner Nate Lee ran a razor over a customer's head while explaining that the "closed for remodeling" sign on Makkara Sushi next door is a little misleading--it won't ever open for retail customers again. Lee says it's being refitted as a wholesale-only operation, and that owner Alex Ju will continue to sell sushi to area grocery stores. "Wait, I think someone's in there," he says, leaving a half-shaved customer in the chair to go bang on the door. Someone was in there, all right; though he spoke little English, he seemed to corroborate the wholesale-only story. Alex Ju didn't return a call.

A previously unnoted retail operation is inside Aries, a tailoring and dry cleaning shop next to the Euro Market. Owner Janet Tosunyan has decked its walls with so much bling--purses, jewelry, and scarves; rarely seen notions like garters, tiny fabric-covered boxes; and perfume under the counter--that the dry cleaning and tailoring seems to be taking a backseat. Tosunyan's father-in-law (now in his eighties, he's a retired shoemaker) owns the building. Tosunyan politely dismisses questions about the business by noting that while she can sew a man's suit from scratch, she isn't the kind of person who seeks attention--then goes back to an involved discussion with a customer on the proper way to clean a rhinestone-encrusted gown.

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