Business History: Vince Mangio Operated Three Barber Shops in the Palisades 

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UPI Telephoto, October 26th, 1960, Pacific Palisades, California: “A steaming calderon painted on a barber shop window, part of a community Halloween window painting contest for children, has David Goldman seemingly simmering while “chef” with shears, Vince Mangio, prepares bill of fare. Artist was Cathy Toland. Cooking time was one haircut.”

Rosanne Mangio contacted Circling the News and complained that her late father Vince Mangio, a successful businessman in Pacific Palisades for 34 years, had been omitted from the Centennial publication, produced by the Historical Society.

Editor Bill Bruns said it wasn’t an oversight, but rather the reality of trying to address 100-plus years of history in just 60 pages. “Pacific Palisades has had thousands of influential residents and business owners who shaped the town’s history. Given our publication’s space constraints, we simply couldn’t write about all of them.”

At one time, Vince Mangio had three barber shops in the Palisades – and all were busy. He had one shop on Swarthmore (New Classic) and two on Antioch, including Palisades Barber Shop, founded in 1940 and now operated by Joe Almaraz.

Rosanne Mangio told CTN that people came from as far away as San Diego to have her father cut their hair. His customers included A-list stars of the day, such as James Arness, Peter Graves and Anthony Quinn, plus golfer Arnold Palmer when he was in L.A.

Mangio operated Palisades Barber Shop from 1947 to 1981, when he sold the shop to Joe Almaraz. He continued to work two days a week in the front-window chair. That was fine by Joe, who told CTN that “Vince was my mentor.”

Vince hired Almaraz in 1962, and in 1965 hired Robert Blake, who eventually opened his own shop on Swarthmore (Atocha Hair Studio) and served as president of the Palisades Americanism Parade Association for two years.

Mangio was active in the community and enjoyed playing golf every Thursday with fellow businessmen John Harrington, Ed Jacobson, Wally Miller and Dale Van Vlack. Another friend was Chuck Norris, who owned Norris Hardware in the Business Block building before moving to Swarthmore in 1956.

Mangio and his wife Angela built a house in the Alphabet Streets and Rosanne grew up there. She worked for the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, running senior centers, an art center and several Recreation Centers including Pacific Palisades and Rustic Canyon. After retiring, Rosanne focused on ritual art as a sculptor.

Rosanne remembered, “My dad gave everything to his barber shop and to helping people. He would go to hospitals for free to shave and give a haircut to sick clients.”

In 1984, Mangio was cutting hair at the shop when he suffered a fatal heart attack. “There was a cardiologist getting his haircut at that time,” said Joe Almaraz’s older son, Jose, Jr. “He told us afterwards that Vince ‘died before he hit the floor.’”

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3 Responses to Business History: Vince Mangio Operated Three Barber Shops in the Palisades 

  1. Ruth Mills says:

    My younger brother had his hair cut by Vince throughout his childhood. I remember him fondly.

  2. Vince Martin says:

    Recognition well deserved. The shop remains an integral part of the Palisades business community and its history like few others. Mr Bruns is a very well respected journalist, but, seems like he missed a big one here.

  3. Sue says:

    I didn’t envy Bill’s job–there were so many businesses and so many famous and infamous people, I was impressed he fit what he did into 60 pages.

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