Chicago’s Hyde Park Hair Salon Welcomes Obama Home

(CBS) — There’s a buzz in the air at Hyde Park Hair Salon on 53rd and Blackstone.

“Yeah, there’s a buzz. I didn’t expect this, it’s electric around here, it’s definitely building,” says Ishmael Coye, the owner.

Ishmael Coye,owner of Hyde Park Hair Salon, gives a customer a haircut. (Lisa Fielding/WBBM)

Ishmael Coye,owner of Hyde Park Hair Salon, gives a customer a haircut. (Lisa Fielding/WBBM)

Coye says it’s usually pretty busy, but especially busy this week with media from around the world, patrons and tourists visiting ahead of President Obama’s farewell speech to take place at McCormick Place Tuesday.

“We’re always busy, we’ve always been a popular shop, but Barack Obama becoming president has bumped it up a notch.”

This barber chair bears the endorsement of famous patron Barack Obama. (Lisa Fielding/WBBM)

This barber chair bears the endorsement of famous patron Barack Obama. (Lisa Fielding/WBBM)

The barbershop has become quite the tourist attraction since then-aspiring politician Barack Obama started coming to get his hair cut in the mid-1990s. He remains loyal to his barber, who still works at the salon but travels back and forth from Chicago to the White House to take care of the president.

“He’s been coming here for years. He’s just a regular guy getting a haircut to us,” Coye says.

The President’s signed barber chair is encased in glass as you walk in the door.

This painting is on display at Hyde Park Hair Salon. (Lisa Fielding/WBBM)

This painting is on display at Hyde Park Hair Salon. (Lisa Fielding/WBBM)

Coye says a lot has changed in Hyde Park during Obama’s eight years in office. The fact he’s coming back home to say goodbye makes sense. He says he hopes their most famous client returns post-White House.

“Come home bro, come home,” Coye said, laughing.

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