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Shop closing leaves hole in community

The Logan name is known around Denton — from the Logan Boot & Repair Shop to Steve’s Bar-B-Q Pit to Logan’s Barber Shop.

The longtime Denton family has been a part of the business fabric for generations. And now, a part of the legacy ends with the closing of Logan’s Barber Shop.

Leonard Logan opened the shop at Skinner and Robertson streets in the early 1960s. When he died in 1997, his son Leonard Logan Jr. took the clippers in hand to continue the business.

But after two years of struggles, Junior — as he is known to his customers — decided the signs pointed to closing the store.

“I’m not happy about shutting down but I think it’s time to go,” said Logan, 74.

The news sent tremors among customers who often would stop by the barbershop not only for a cut but also to hang out and chat with friends. It served as a social hub in the black community for customers to talk about crime, politics, community events and more.

Conflicts between Logan and city officials began about two years ago, said Logan, a retired security officer with Texas Woman’s University.

The building, owned by the Masonic Lodge, houses two tenants — the barbershop and a second tenant with a Robertson Street address, which receives the water bill for the entire building.

In an attempt to pay his share of the bill, Logan said he hit a few obstacles. The most recent issue was when Logan’s shop failed a building inspection, which led to the water service being shut off.

City officials say the building does not have a current certificate of occupancy and no one can locate an old certificate. Code enforcement officers check commercial businesses for current certificates of occupancy. And, if a business changes its name or owners, the business is required to get a new certificate before city customer service will provide services to the owner.

Logan’s father’s certificate of occupancy became invalid upon his death.

To Logan Jr., the process has been overwhelming. In city documents from this year, the business was referred to a new business. Logan Jr. found that surprising: “A new business? You call 60 years old new? I just wanted a new connection that would allow me to pay my own bills. It was a small thing that turned into a two-year struggle. And now they turned off my water.”

Officials say they are continuing to work with the building owners to resolve the issue.

But for Logan Jr., enough is enough.

“You have to listen to what God is telling you,” he said. “If things aren’t working out no matter how hard you try, then God is trying to send you a message to move on because he probably has something better waiting for you. I’m too old to be ignoring God.”

We understand that the city must apply its rules fairly for all businesses. But it is a shame that the issues have taken more than two years with no resolution to date.

It has not only cost a longtime resident his business, it has cost the community a gathering place — one that leaves a large vacancy likely never to be filled in quite the same way.