Realtor Dean Pelafas is looking for the perfect tenant for his recently-purchased building at 7504 W. Madison Street. And he’s got a few ideas in mind.
Pelafas, a former Forest Park auxiliary officer and “big time” fan of The Andy Griffith Show, dreams of turning the old antique shop he purchased into a Floyd’s Barbershop — but not like the trendy Floyd’s 99 Barbershop franchise in Chicago. Pelafas is looking to recreate the one in the show, with that old-time feel, homemade pies offered, a place where residents can constantly hang. He said he dreamed up the idea after Chicago Magazine named the village “Most Mayberryest” in a March feature, with the magazine calling out Brown Cow Ice Cream Parlor for its ice cream and the village’s “old-timey” street lamps, and recommended spending a Saturday at a curbside pub.
“In The Andy Griffith Show, one of the characters is Floyd the barber. All the characters hung out, all of them congregated in the barbershop,” Pelafas said. “When I saw this article that Forest Park is Mayberry in the near western suburbs, I got the idea to bring a barber. But somebody needs to call it Floyd’s Barbershop, like as a shoot off of the Mayberry thing.
“I just want to give it that hometown feel. Forest Park Madison Street is such a high-traffic street, trendy, with antique stores up and down the street; it needs a neighborhood barbershop where they could see chocolate or taffy apples, go in and get your haircut, get a cup of coffee.”
Pelafas said he and a partner closed on the building on April 1. He’s since added a Barney Fife mannequin — Barney being the lovable but high-strung police officer in The Andy Griffith Show — to the front window advertising the space. Occasionally, Pelafas said he drives by the space in his Mayberry squad car, a vehicle from the show’s set that he bought a few years ago.
“It was just a great show,” Pelafas said. “It shows a time of simplicity, a time of good morals, a time of discipline, and you don’t see a lot of that in today’s culture. It’s fast-moving, very electronic now. It was all about good values, about family.”
Pelafas said he grew up in River Forest and eventually went on to serve as a Forest Park auxiliary officer for about 13 years with current Village Administrator Tim Gillian and outgoing Mayor Anthony Calderone.
He said he’s seen probably every episode of The Andy Griffith Show 10 times. But his favorite episode is named “Citizen’s Arrest,” in which the deputy sheriff overzealously arrests people for jaywalking, accidentally littering, and other small crimes. Eventually a Mayberry resident (Gomer Pyle) pulls a “citizen’s arrest” and arrests the sheriff for parking in a no parking zone.
“It’s a real feel-good, good-morals type of program. Barney Fife is hysterical,” said Pelafas, who has his real estate office in River Forest and is an Elmhurst resident.
He’s got one potential tenant — artists from Black Moon Gallery & Studio in Oak Park are looking to set up a separate studio — but he’d also like to bring something like a pretzel shop to the village too.
“I simply love Forest Park; I own apartment buildings too,” he said.