If you thought that the days of the barber shop were nearing an end, think again. Elmwood is now home to a hip new business called The Village Cut and Shave (VCS). I first stopped in to the VCS right before the place opened and found the four barbers sitting in their swank swiveling shop chairs watching a Sabres game on a flat screen TV. For my second return visit I decided to suck it up and get a haircut – I couldn’t resist trying out a place that was helping to bring back the good ‘ol days of barbering. When I walked in, the first thing that I noticed was that The Breeders Cup was on TV. A father waited for his son to get coiffed in the first chair, while a second barber was also busy cutting hair. It was a third barber, Chuck Zambito who asked if I was looking to get my hair cut. Once seated, I gazed around the brightly lit room at all the different amenities. I noticed that there was a hot towel rack on one side of the room, and every chair had a bright yellow air compressor hose (something that you might see at a mechanic’s shop) positioned next to it. It was apparent that these barbers not only took pride in their work, they also made a point to have the best of the best when it came to pampering their clients.
One of the things that I like about barbershops is being able to walk in off the street without an appointment. Sometimes you wake up in the morning and decide right then and there that it’s time to get a cut. Even if you have to wait a few minutes, it’s still better than looking at an appointment scheduled on your calendar. It was barber Brian Freeman who first pointed out the waiting lounge (man cave) towards the back of the shop that was still under construction. When it is complete, it’s going to be a comfortable place for the guys to sit and read magazines, watch TV and use the WiFi while waiting for their turns. After all, why should the ladies have all of the fun? Each of the barbers contributed to the layout and design of the business in their own ways. It just so happens that the four met at the same barber school, and after working in the field for a spell decided that it was time to team up. They knew that there were guys out there looking for straight razor shaves and Witch Hazel neck splashes – guys who appreciate being pampered without having to go to a salon. Chuck even broke out some sort of scalp massager (I never even saw what it looked like) that felt incredible and apparently helps with blood circulation.
Not only did the barbers go to town on the inside of the building, they also made the exterior sparkle. During the daytime the slowly-spinning red, white and blue barber pole beckons to clients, while in the evening there is a calming glow that emanates from inside. If you’ve been looking for a solid modern-day barbershop that goes above and beyond, you need to check this place out.
The Village Cut and Shave
611 Elmwood Avenue
Buffalo NY 14222
Photo: (L-R) Brian Freeman, Jacob Martinez, Chuck Zambito (Missing: Dhamon Quale)