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Welcome to Zucker Burg

TECHNOLOGY

Facebook is building its own Main Street to keep employees happy

August 10, 2012|Jessica Guynn

Now Hacker Square -- the open-air courtyard where staffers gather each week for Zuckerberg's question-and-answer sessions -- will be home to two new mom-and-pop tenants: an old-fashioned barbershop and a branch of a traditional Japanese sushi restaurant that's a favorite of Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan. A shop that repairs and sells bikes and a health clinic are also in the works.

Local merchants said being associated with Facebook was a not-to-be-missed opportunity.

Fuki Sushi, which catered Zuckerberg and Chan's wedding, plans to open in September. Co-owner Lumi Gardner said the couple proposed opening a branch of Fuki Sushi on Facebook's campus while they were dining at the restaurant her parents opened in Palo Alto in 1978. Gardner said there's an undeniable cachet to being tapped by Facebook.

That cachet also drew Philz Coffee, a San Francisco chain that keeps tech heads wired with 10 stores. It's already up and running on Facebook's campus, serving espresso and coffee drinks. Facebook is also in the process of selecting a second coffeehouse.

Johnny D's Barber Shop is the most unusual of Facebook's new tenants. Though many high-tech companies, including Facebook, contract with businesses that drive specially equipped motor homes onto their parking lots to give on-site haircuts, few can boast their own barber shop.

John Major, who owns Johnny D's in San Jose, was looking for an edge with the younger generation. The shop will swing open its doors this month on the Facebook campus.

Two days a week, barbers will cut hair, trim beards, mustaches and goatees, or simply drape young men in barber cloth for a shave or shampoo. Once a week, Johnny D's will offer salon services such as cuts, shampoos and styling.

"I look forward to bringing the barber shop experience to a whole new set of clientele," Major said. "For a tech company to do something so retro as a barber shop is such a dichotomy. It's a really neat concept."

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jessica.guynn@latimes.com

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