Art’s Barbershop Finds a New Home at Paradise Tans
Behind the doors of Paradise Tans, owned and operated by Deseray Brown, lies a far deeper portion of Medford’s history.
Three years ago, Deseray Brown purchased Paradise Tans from her step-mother, with whom she had worked with for 11 years to get the business on the right track. It was only recently that Deseray was presented with a new and interesting business opportunity. Arthur Alfinito, of Art’s Barbershop, has been welcomed with open arms to the tanning salon, creating an interesting beauty duo between haircuts and tans.
Art is not an unknown social figure in Medford; he and his family have spent 27 years influencing the Rogue Valley. Since 1990, Art and his family have positively influenced Medford’s theater culture. His parents, Art and Lea Alfinito, with a vision of bringing theater arts to Medford, purchased the Holly Theater after relocating from Palo Alto where they ran an Italian restaurant known as Rudolfo’s.
In 1993, Art opened his own version of Rudolfo’s here in Medford. Rudolfo’s Italian Garden Café turned out more than 30,000 dinners a year and as the restaurant boomed so did Medford’s economy. Unfortunately, as the economy and business grew, so too did Art’s other responsibilities. The restaurant was put on the backburner, and Art’s time and attention turned towards his family. Eventually, Rudolfo’s closed down, and, as any entrepreneur would, Art moved on to his next project.
After the closure of his restaurant in 2000, following the recommendation of his cousin and mentor at the time, Art went off to beauty school. Becoming a barber was not the biggest obstacle that presented itself during this time in Art’s life, however. Shortly after graduating from beauty school and setting up his barbershop inside of Holly Theater, Art began to notice physical and mental changes in himself that had no obvious source. Diagnosed with an invasive brain tumor, Art persevered through a multi-month process to remove the tumor.
He hadn’t seen the end of the bad luck yet. In 2010 and 2011, Art lost both of his parents and was left with the Holly Theater.
JPR Foundation made an offer on Holly Theater within 24 hours after Art made the painstaking decision to sell the building. Even with Arthur’s 25 years of business experience, he could not handle both the theater and the barbershop. All was not lost; however, in keeping with Art and Lea Alfinito’s vision of bringing theater to Medford, JPR Foundation began fundraising for the Holly Remodeling project. As living history, Art was allowed to continue his craft while operating out of the Holly Theater building. It wasn’t until a few months ago that the fundraising had finished and Art was asked kindly to move his business. Given 60 days to relocate Art’s Barbershop, Arthur had few options open at the time.
Since his humble beginnings working as a water-boy at age 7, Art has overcome many hurdles that others may not have withstood. Moving his business was not something that stopped him either. It was during this crucial time period that Art and Deseray stumbled upon one another and the search for a new Art’s Barbershop came to an end.
At his new location inside of Paradise Tans, Art continues to add to his 14 years of barber experience. From 9-5 Monday through Friday and 11-3 on Saturdays, Art welcomes only walk-ins and refuses to schedule appointments because he is adamant about giving each and every customer his full undivided attention when they sit in his chair.
“Barbershops are a wonderful and necessary business,” Art explained as he cleaned up after his most recent cut. He went on to say that he enjoys sharing his wisdom and having real genuine conversations as he makes every person look perfect for any occasion. Between the beard trims and haircuts Art and his customers have meaningful conversations and that’s why Art’s Barbershop continues to prosper through any hardships that occur.
Paradise Tan’s is located at 2390 W. Main Street in Medford. To reach Art, please call 541-773-4761.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” - Martin Luther King Jr.