Local barbershop kept without air conditioning, amid high temps

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – All week, much of Western New York has been locked in summer heat. In this kind of heat, a local business in Buffalo’s Lovejoy neighborhood has been put on the back burner.

The landlord refuses to give Bob’s Barber Shop access to air conditioning, causing the temperature inside to rise. Now, that business has contacted Call for Action.

The barbershop is located at 1214 East Lovejoy St. and has been in business for years, but there’s been a dispute over who controls the air temperature inside.

With temperatures this week in the 80s, it’s pretty toasty inside the barbershop, which is run by Bob Dettelis. About a year ago, he says the owner of the building, Carousel Development Corporation, removed the thermostat and relocated it to another part of the building behind a locked door to save on energy costs.

Dettelis and customers who visit say it gets hot and cold when the weather changes, making working conditions tough. The lease Dettelis has says he should have control over the thermostat.

A letter from Dettelis’ attorney Kathleen Lindhardt to Carousel Development on March 7 reads:

“[…] you are in default under the terms of your lease agreement dated August 15, 2022,” […] “the lessee was to have sole control over the thermostat,” […] “despite my client’s protesting the location of the thermostat, it was placed in the back office which is kept locked.”

News 4 visited the barbershop Wednesday to meet with Dettelis.

“When that sun hits these windows, he’d be dripping, you’d be dripping wet, usually I got 5, 6, 7 guys in here at a time they start sweating, it’s rough,” Dettelis said.

Customers also say it’s very warm in the barbershop.

“Currently, it’s hot under this thing here, I can imagine on hot days with the sun coming in it’s probably that much worse,” one customer said.

News 4’s Jeff Preval approached a manager for Carousel Development who works across the street. She confirmed that the thermostat was relocated because of energy costs. The manager got quite aggressive with us, saying Dettelis can take them to court. She also said the air conditioning is on.

News 4 spent a couple hours in Bob’s Barber Shop and didn’t feel any cool air coming through the vents. The manager also directed us to contact their attorney. Dettelis says he’s contacted the Erie County Health Department over this issue.

News 4 is in touch with the county health department on the heating and cooling issues.

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Jeff Preval is an award-winning anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2021. See more of his work here.

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