Patricia Winters-Liotta, 60, a saint with a scissors

BY GABE HERMAN | Patricia Winters-Liotta, the owner of Anonymous Hair Salon in Greenwich Village for more than 30 years, died Feb. 21. She was 60.

Winters-Liotta, known as Pat to those who knew her, founded Anonymous Hair Salon at 105 Sullivan St., between Prince and Spring Sts., in 1986.

Beyond a place for haircuts, the salon was also a community hangout, according to her son Vincent Alfano. Vincent has taken over ownership of the shop. He said a variety of different music was always playing there, whether it was jazz on Tuesday or funk on Wednesday.

Patricia Winters-Liotta with a message she chalked in front of her hair salon on Sullivan St. The words summed up her spirit, which she expressed throughout the community in her kind deeds. (Courtesy Vincent Alfano)

Locals would come by just to hang out and sit on chairs set up outside.

“Because she knew everyone in the neighborhood, she’d always have people sitting outside the store,” recalled Peter DeLuca, who knew Pat for 25 years and got his hair cut at the salon. DeLuca is also the owner of the Greenwich Village Funeral Home, where visitation services were held for Winters-Liotta on March 2.

Pat would go to the homes of older people in the neighborhood to cut their hair when they could no longer make it to the salon, DeLuca said. And she would never charge extra for it.

“This wasn’t a rare occasion,” DeLuca said. “She did it all the time. And she didn’t do it because it was part of her business model. She did it because she built relationships with people in the neighborhood.”

He said a woman living across the street had a stroke and Pat would go to her home to cut her hair. “She cared about people,” he said.

The chairs in front of the Anonymous Hair Salon are a welcoming hangout for locals, creating a space for community.

“She would go out of her way just as a genuinely kind person to help the seniors out,” Deluca said. “You just don’t find that nowadays.”

Her son Vincent said she also cut old folks’ hair at nearby St. Anthony’s Church, at 151 Thompson St. She would spend Saturday mornings there and bring people food.

“She was never selfish, not with anything,” he said.

In 2001, Winters-Liotta also took over the Hair Box barbershop at 203 Spring St., which at the time was called Frank’s. The location was a barbershop for more than 100 years. But it closed in 2014 due to city construction that blocked the entrance for an extended period of time, according to Vincent.

Patricia Winters-Liotta was born May 4, 1958. She grew up in Queens, in Ozone Park and Howard Beach. Later on, she lived in Rockaway with her son until moving to Atlantic Beach in Hempstead around 2007, where she lived the rest of her life with her husband, Andrew Liotta.

Patricia Winters-Liotta enjoying a relaxing break outside of the city.

Pat was diagnosed this past July with bladder cancer, Vincent said. She had not felt well for some time before that and doctors said she was likely sick for more than a year before the diagnosis.

During an operation around Thanksgiving, it was discovered that the cancer had spread. Vincent said he and his stepfather Andrew brought Pat home the day before Valentine’s Day this year, after they received word that she had little time left.

Vincent said she had been weak and ate little in previous months, but when Pat arrived home, she got a burst of energy. She was up and about, eating more, and yelling cooking instructions to her mother in the kitchen.

She made it to Vincent’s birthday on Feb. 18. She wanted to make it to her 15th anniversary with Andrew on Feb. 22, but she died the day before.

Vincent said his mother was always bringing people together, wanting to introduce people in the community to each other. He recalled coming home sometimes from work and seeing his friends doing yoga with her in the living room.

“If she liked you, every word would melt your heart and put a smile on your face,” Vincent said. “If she had a quarrel with you or didn’t like you, she could speak razor blades.”

“I cried when she passed away,” DeLuca said. “She was just a wonderful human being. Really a person you don’t forget after you meet them. Very at ease with herself, very kind and funny. I’m going to miss her.”

Patricia Winters-Liotta is survived by her son Vincent; husband Andrew; sister Linda Conatser; mother Frances Jean Winters; and niece Noelle Winters-Herzog.

Reflecting on his mother, Vincent said, “If you took an independent businesswoman from Queens, then you mixed that with a crazy Sicilian from Italy, and mixed it with a flower child from the ’60s, that was her.”

9 Responses to Patricia Winters-Liotta, 60, a saint with a scissors

  1. My friend Pat was truly an angel. We only met maybe four years ago but I loved her so. I remember Christmas of 2017 we were wrapping gifts for underprivileged children and families. She was such strong good hearted woman. I’m going to miss her so much. I’m so thankful to have had her as a dear friend. I’m going to keep her memory alive forever!

  2. My friend Pat took over after my other hair cutter Frank died. She and I became friends and would go out to dinner after I got a haircut. I loved her spirit and we always laughed and had fun. Several times she invited some of her friends to join us and it was always fun. I went to her for many years and watched her son grow up, saw her get married to Andrew and create a lovely home in Atlantic Beach that she invited me to and even saw her fishes in the backyard. I always assumed she would be my friend forever. She has left us but her spirit lives on and I am glad her son will keep the shop open. Long live Pat.

  3. My dear friend Pat… I was lucky enough to have spent a great deal of time with her, at the salon and beyond. She was so kind, Pat always treated everyone fairly, the homeless, the elderly, at risk youth, anyone from a different culture, and of course the gays.. I learned so much about patience, and extending a helping hand whenever possible, this is who she was to the soho community. Pat will always be with me, the way I think when I see someone or something different, this is how she has changed me, and I am forever grateful.. bye my friend,

    Love Angelo

  4. Pat was the very best that humanity produces. It was an honor to be among her very many friends.

    I walk and walk and walk around the neighborhood, I am sure like so many of us, and think of her constantly. We always will.

  5. When I heard about Pat's passing, I just couldn't believe it. I have known Pat for many years and she was such an exceptional person-funny, smart, kind, engaged, sincerely interested in other people's lives and so much more–a shining example for us all. She was so kind to my son when he played guitar as a young boy, encouraging him to play at The Bitter End, where she often went with her son, Vinnie.

    She was truly exceptional; it is such a tragic loss, way too soon. We will miss you very much.

  6. I have been getting my hair cut there since Franks closed and always noticed this tall striking woman with a great head of hair. One day that I told her she would never lose it! – she laughed!

  7. It’s heartbreaking to have lost Pat. She was warmhearted, funny and had an ability to laugh things off that others might choose a hitman to resolve. Sitting in her chair and laughing was better than any therapy.
    I happened to meet Pat when she worked at SoHair in 1985. I had just gotten back from a two month motorcycle trip to Alaska with more hair than could fit in my helmet. Now thirty three years on and some 400 haircuts later – from punk to going bald with variations in between – I never had a bad haircut. I used to joke with her that I forbid her to die before me, that we’d have to die on the same day because she was irreplaceable.
    She was such a wonderful person and dear friend. I will miss her for the rest of my days.
    Pat really was, in so many more ways than one, irreplaceable.

  8. Today, May 31st, I walked into Anonymous for my haircut, asked for Pat and was stunned, horrified and deeply saddened to learn that we all had lost her last February. I assumed that she was just running around the neighborhood helping someone as usual. It is impossible to overstate just what an extraordinarily kind, generous, happy and unique woman and human being Pat was. The above Villager obituary and all of these loving and intimately emotional comments can but struggle, as do I myself herein, to adequately describe how she embraced everyone and made us all part of a family.
    A rugby teammate/actor friend had introduced me to his barber, Mr Rocco (Milano), in the late 80s, at about the same time as Pat had opened Anonymous. I have made the pilgrimage from the upper East Side to the neighborhood ever since. I first met Pat on August 19, 2011. She was now the owner of the HairBox, and Irina had cut my hair (what was left of it) since Mr Rocco's stroke the year before. It was a flawless summer afternoon and it was purely by karma that Rocco had made his first visit to the shop since his recovery. Pat – who had never seen me before in her life – dropped by to also greet him, and when she heard I wanted a photo of Rocco and me, ran around the corner to her store and took the photo for me and emailed it to me. That was classic Pat, yes?
    When the HairBox closed in 2014, I was one of those 'old men' from the venerable old Italian barbershop who followed Irina to join Pat around the corner at her Sullivan Street salon. Pat welcomed me into the family she created for all of us at Anonymous, staff and customers alike. It was she and her unrelenting warmth to everyone who stepped inside its doors that made the place an utter joy for me to visit. Sometimes I would linger after Irina worked her magic, just to bask in that sense of home.
    For me, it seemed that Pat had created a refuge from an often indifferent Gotham and world just outside its portals. God bless her. I pray for her; and I am certain that Pat is making Heaven even happier than ever. I will never forget her; and I believe that one never dies as long as there is someone who remembers. So to all who loved her, Pat lives on.

  9. Pat cut my hair for 5 years and I always looked forward to going in. She knew all the best spots in the neighborhood as well as all the gossip. She had a big heart and always made people feel good. She's truly missed!

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