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With Bishops acquisition, Rudy’s now has three barbershops on its Capitol Hill home turf

(Image: Rudy’s Barbershop)

Rescued from bankruptcy by its original Pike/Pine founders, the Capitol Hill-based Rudy’s Barbershop chain is growing with the pandemic-era acquisition of fellow Pacific Northwest barbershop chain Bishops.

The deal means Rudy’s is now operating three salons in its home neighborhood including the former Bishops at 12th and Pike.

West Seattle Blog reported the ripples from the deal gracing that neighborhood with its second Rudy’s.

Like Rudy’s, Bishops has faced major pandemic challenges. The deal reportedly includes a dozen Bishops-operated locations in the Pacific Northwest including the West Seattle and 12th and Pike locations while franchised salons will operate independently.

CHS reported on the Capitol Hill arrival of the Portland style chain and its “free beer” perks in 2016.

In May 2020, CHS broke the news on founders Wade Weigel and David Petersen winning their bid to purchase the 25-location Rudy’s chain out of bankruptcy as COVID-19 restrictions battered the company six years after New York-based venture capital and buyout specialist Northwood Ventures became a majority investor.

The first Rudy’s was opened in January, 1993 on E Pine by friends Alex Calderwood, Weigel, and Petersen. You can trace the lineage of many veins of Capitol Hill cool through the partners. Weigel, for example, also was part of starting the Cha Cha Lounge. The trio also made a fortune with their Ace Hotels.

In summer of 2015, Rudy’s opened its “Capitol Hill East” location on the relatively sleepy 15th Ave E.

While in the long term, it could be a challenge for the neighborhood to support the three barbershops, an employee at the 12th and Pike location said Bishops stylists have remained on staff and are part of the newest addition to the Rudy’s longtime presence on Capitol Hill.


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