Chairs are pictured at the barbershop at Youngbloods in Hazel Park, prior to the store’s opening in July.

Chairs are pictured at the barbershop at Youngbloods in Hazel Park, prior to the store’s opening in July.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

New business breathes new life into former Phoenix Cafe

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published August 7, 2018

HAZEL PARK — For nearly a decade, the Phoenix Café in Hazel Park expanded minds with evocative artwork and music. That all came to an end last Christmas when the venue closed for good. But it wasn’t long before someone acquired the property at 24932 John R Road, transforming it into something new. 

Lyle Hayman Jr. and his wife, Angie Yaldoo, bought the former Phoenix Café in January and spent the following months retooling it into Youngbloods, a barbershop and men’s fashion store that opened its doors July 11. 

The business has a stylish edge to it that the owners say pays homage to the Phoenix Café. When the dust settles, they may even arrange for guest art galleries and acoustic music sets.

“The Phoenix wasn’t some pretentious yuppie art place,” Hayman said. “It was more gritty, more blue collar. It was a real artists kind of world — artists rich in experience.” 

For now, the focus is on establishing the new business. Among its clientele are dedicated fans of Hayman’s from his previous tenure as a stylist at the Berkley Crop Shop. For the fashion store, Yaldoo brings her past experience as manager of Incognito, a now-closed Royal Oak boutique.  

Its name is both a reference to the fact that this is the first business started by Hayman and Yaldoo — “young bloods” in the industry — but it’s also a history lesson. Long ago, barbers were also surgeons and dentists, and it was thought they could cure illness through bloodletting. The stripes of the barber’s pole may have represented blood (red), bandages (white) and veins (blue).  

The shop itself is full of dark colors and rich textures for what Yaldoo describes as “a classy, sophisticated, masculine look.” All of the art and décor was either found or made by the owners — nothing was store-bought. Windows provide abundant natural lighting for a relaxing vibe.   

The focus is on customer service. The owners feel that human connections are an advantage for brick-and-mortar stores in an age of online shopping. 

“We want people to feel welcome, whoever it is, whether it’s a loyal client or someone walking in for the first time,” Yaldoo said. “For us, that’s very important.”

They’re also looking to cater to a wide variety of people. Their products include denim jeans, button-up shirts, T-shirts, zip-up hoodies, jackets, sunglasses, hats, men’s jewelry, riding gloves and men’s grooming products, to name a few.  

“There’s a rocker edge here, but without appealing to just those guys,” Yaldoo said. “We serve everyone from the super trendy guy, to the older business guy, to the guy who rides motorcycles or goes to punk shows.” 

Hayman and Yaldoo say they hope Youngbloods will help contribute to Hazel Park’s identity, much like the Phoenix Café once did. 

“One thing people want around here are cool non-corporate businesses. They want to find them without going to, say, Ferndale or Royal Oak,” Hayman said. “It seems like people from a lot of different social classes are coming to this shop. And so far, they love it.” 

Jeff Campbell, assistant city manager of Hazel Park, referred to it as a “great fit for us, providing a service that’s needed in town.”

“From the city’s perspective, (Hayman and Yaldoo) have really done an amazing job retrofitting a building that needed a little care. They put something in that is not only a service that is needed in town, but that is also a destination point for the public, for people both inside and outside Hazel Park. 

“What’s also attractive about what they’re doing is they both have experience in the field: Lyle has worked for local trendy barbershops that are popular and have staying power, and she has experience in the clothing industry. They’re very down-to-earth people, and it’s a true pleasure to welcome them into the community.”

Youngbloods’ hours are Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursdays, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Fridays, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturdays, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call (248) 629-6626.