Tuesday, July 19, 2022

1480 Main Streeet - William's Hairdressing / Super Boy's

 © 2022, Christian Cassidy

Place: Former William's Hairdressing / Super Boy's (website)
Address: 1480 Main Street (Map)
Constructed: 1947
Contractor: Unknown

The building permit for 1480 Main Street was issued in 1947 in the midst of a post-war building frenzy. By August of that year the value of building permits had already reached the $12m mark, a total not seen in Winnipeg since 1914.

The first business to call this address home was William’s Hairdressing owned by William and Mary Knapp.

William Knopf was born in Whitemouth, Manitoba, and moved to Winnipeg at an early age. By the early 1930s he is listed in street directories as a barber. Mary, (nee Maria Zirk), was born in Thalberg, Manitoba in the RM of St. Clements, and came to Winnipeg as a teenager. She and William married in 1931.

The couple first settled at an apartment at 2-167 Aikins Street and then to a house at 87 Lansdowne Avenue.

April 1, 1944 Tribune

In 1934, William and Mary changed their last name from Knopf to Knapp and opened William's Hairdressing Shop at 1479 Main Street. They also lived behind the store. (The business was sometimes listed separately in street directories as William's Barber Shop and William's Beauty Parlour.)

The couple moved to their long-time family home at 271 McAdam Avenue around 1945. This would have coincided with them starting a family which included daughters Evelyn and Linda.

The small shop advertised infrequently with the odd holiday season ad in the Winnipeg Tribune or Western Jewish News.

September 18, 1952 Western Jewish News

The move across the street to 1480 Main Street came in late 1947 or early 1948. It is likely that the Knapps were renters, not the ones who financed its construction. 

Business appeared to flourish at the new location which had up to five hairdressing stations. One 1952 ad seeking staff offered a pay packet of $35 per week plus commissions.

To keep current on the changing fashions of the 1950s, William attended the 1955 International Beauty Show and Exposition in New York City. A note in the Western Jewish News said his intention was to bring many of the award-winning new hairstyles back to the North End.

June 28, 1968, Winnipeg Free Press

The building was put up for sale in 1968 for $35,000. Ads ran from April to July of that year noting that it was “a property with tremendous diversified opportunities.” Interested parties were asked to contact a Mrs. Kirk or Simonite Realty.

If the building sold, either the Knapps purchased it or the new owner allowed them to stay as tenants.  Ads for selling off the fixtures of Williams Hairdressing appeared in December 1972 and the Knapps retired in 1973.

Mary Knapp obituary photo

William was an active member of the Manitoba Hairdressers Association and the Independent Order of Foresters. He died on July 10, 1979 after a lengthy illness.

Mary was involved in Trinity Lutheran Church on Flora Avenue and the Inkster Seniors Centre. She lived long after William and spent much of her time travelling the world, including Europe, Australia, the Middle East, the Far East, and the Caribbean.

She died on August 7, 2006 at the age of 93. Her obituary notes that "Mary lived a wonderful and rich life."

May 6, 1976, Winnipeg Free Press

In the summer of 1974, 1480 Main Street was home to Swiss Farms Ice Cream stand and then a series of short-lived burger drive-inns, including Maxim, Rousso's, and Burger Palace. Its last incarnation was UFO Pizza before going up for sale again in February 1984 as a 20-seat restaurant with lots of parking.

Angelo and Ourania Corantzopoulos, who operated a restaurant on Henderson Highway called Fat Boy's, relocated to 1480 Main in 1985 and changed the name of their enterprise to Super Boy's.

In a 2013 interview with the Free Press, daughter Georgia said that Burton Cummings would always come by when visiting his mother. There was also a visit by a MuchMusic veejay that gave them national exposure. (In the same interview, Angelo mused that the building must have once been a hair salon as whenever they renovated they found hair curlers!)

Ourania died in 2007, but the Corantzopoulos family still runs the restaurant. At 37 years, they are by far the longest-lasting business to call 1480 Main Street home.

Note that Super Boy's will be closed until the end of August for family holidays!


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