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John G. Japp

John G. Japp is the Founder of Japp’s Hair Store. John was born in Schleswig-Holstein in 1850 and came to America as a young man. John settled first in Chicago, where he was a builder. He had a hand in rebuilding Chicago after the great fire in 1871. Once Texas became a state he moved there then ended up in St. Louis where he married Lena Erhand. They moved together to Cincinnati to Avondale on Forest Ave. In 1910, they built a house on Hosea ave. In Clifton.

In 1879, John opened Japp’s Wig and Hair store on Main St. Which was a popular shopping district with Alms and Doepke department store on the corner of Canal and Main. (Which is now Central Parkway and Main St.) A few years later, John moved the store down the street to 1134 Main St., and next to Hanke’s Department store. John ran Japp’s until he died, Sept. 2, 1934. He was 84 years old. The store remained in the Japp family into the 1980’s. Their wigs were the highest quality, handmade, always from human hair. The same family also owned the John G. Toilet Requite Co. Were they Manufactured toilet preparations in the same building.

The building was purchased by Bob Schnider in the 1980’s. Where he said there were so many boxes of real hair that the selling price covered almost the entire cost of the building.

Neil Barstow leased the space in the 1990’s where he turned the store into a bar. The bar was bought and sold a few times up until 2002 when was it shut down for good.

Molly Wellmann leased Japp’s in 2010 and has a cocktail bar serving drinks for the 1700-1950’s, with a story behind almost every drink. She loves the history and story behind the building and family and truly enjoys learning and sharing the past through her cocktails and spirits.