Grandview Heights Moment in Time

Wayne Carlson
GH/MCHS
Nick Botti – or Nick the Barber, as he was known – is shown with two friends in front of his original barbershop on Goodale Boulevard in Flytown. He later moved his family to Grandview Heights and opened ASAP across from the Grandview library.

Nicholas Botti was born in Rutino, Italy, in 1887 and arrived in Columbus when he was 16. He was taken in by the Joe Adorno family, who owned and operated a grocery store on Goodale Boulevard in Flytown, which was the “melting pot” area of immigrants near Goodall Park northwest of downtown Columbus and what now is considered the Arena District.

He initially worked in his sponsor family’s grocery store, delivering beer, wine and whiskey by horse-drawn wagon to the construction crews working to build the Griggs Dam on the Scioto River. He later spent time working in the Carmen Spaghetti factory on Goodale and finally settled on becoming a barber. 

His first barbershop was at 437 W. Goodale and was known as Nick’s Place (shown in the photo above, with Botti in the center on the step.) He relocated his family to Grandview Heights and opened the Village Barbershop at 1668 W. First Ave. in 1920, just east of what currently is the Seville condominiums and across the street from the library. 

The photo on the upper right shows the interior of the shop, which occupied the east side of his building. The west side of his building was leased to various other tenants. Nick Botti became a master gardener and maintained a garden to the rear of the barbershop (upper left and middle). He was renowned especially for the quality of his strawberries and grapes. Nick Botti died in 1974 at age 87.

This historical narrative from the Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff Historical Society was provided by Wayne Carlson.