Carrie Rengers

Rico’s owner Celia Chin to move after more than three decades

Celia Chin, 66, was a child when she first started hanging out at her father’s Broadway barbershop.

“I would say in the 1960s. I remember going to his shop every Sunday to clean it.”

Then in the 1980s, Rico’s moved to 4831 E. Central, next to the former Dillons at Central and Oliver. In the early ’90s, Chin took over.

Now, after all those decades, she’s leaving the space.

“So you can imagine, this is really painful,” Chin says.

She says the space needs substantial repairs, such as a new air conditioner, and she can’t afford it.

At first, Chin didn’t want to leave. Now, though, she says she’s happy she’ll be able to rent a booth at the Salon at Happiness Plaza at 3555 E. Douglas.

Makeup artist Tonia Floyd is going with her, and they’re keeping the same business phone.

Chin says she’s been wanting to remodel her salon for years, but she says various landlords have told her they couldn’t guarantee her space and advised she may not want to invest in it.

“It’s been a rough ride,” she says. “I thought, well, maybe I’m not supposed to be here.”

Saturday is her last day at the shop. She reopens in the new space on Tuesday.

“So it takes all the pressure off of me,” Chin says of having her own space.

She’s planning a trip to Hong Kong later this year, where she’ll do work with the Catholic Church and take some hair classes.

“It kind of all worked itself out,” Chin says.

“I’m just beginning a whole new chapter. There’s so many things I haven’t done yet.”

She says not everyone her age is trying something new.

“Most people are retiring, but I’m just starting.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers