When tasked with the mission to find a mix of commercial tenants for The Grid, Kevin Dagher, Vice President of Cedarland Development Group, felt that having a barber in the building would be a good fit. And when he thought about a barber, he thought about his barber – Eddie Fibich.
It turns out that, during the pandemic, Eddie lost his space at the Brisbane Building, as no one was going out to get a haircut. It was during that time that he decided to spend his time wisely, instead of sitting around idly, waiting for the pandemic to pass. So he packed his bags – his scissors, sheers, and clippers – and headed for the Lower East Side of NYC. It was there that he worked alongside some high end barbers, to gain some knowledge and gather ideas.
“After all,” explained Eddie. “Buffalo isn’t really known for its hair (styling concepts), and I wanted to bring something back to this city that would help to change that perception.”
So often, it is said that you need to leave Buffalo, to get a more worldly grasp of an industry, whether it’s the restaurant industry, or the barbering industry. The same could be said for many cities actually. If you don’t know what’s out there, it’s hard to be the best in your practice. And when heading out to do research, it’s wise to find the cities that excel in the craft that you are interested in exploring. For Eddie, the Lower East Side was a mecca for barbering. If you conduct a Google image search of barbers & Lower East Side, you will see what I’m talking about. The shops are a blend of old world barber practices and cutting edge scissoring, posted up in picture perfect digs. Not to mention the manicured services that call to mind a time and place when the art of barbering included a healthy bit of pampering, such as beard service, straight razor shaves, and facial treatments.
I asked Kevin about the moment that he realized that Eddie would be a good fit at The Grid. His answer? “You have to take care of your barber!” And that’s exactly what he did. He set Eddie up in a posh shop that is “geared towards the barber-artist.”
During a recent visit, I got a chance to chat with Eddie in-between cuts. He told me that he grew up in South Buffalo, right around where the Tesla plant is now.
“When I was young, I always dreamed of Buffalo being a great city,” Eddie told me. “I named the business after Buffalo… the underdog city – the dark horse in the race that has the worst odds, that comes in for the win. I’ve always believed in Buffalo – we’re starting to see what type of city that it will be. Since I’ve been in this location on Main Street for two years, I can see the neighborhood transforming. We like being a part of that. It shows in our attitudes – we’re the alternative shop, offering traditional barbering like a high end salon, but we’re down to earth. I’m a skateboarder, and I play bass in a heavy metal band called My City, My Secret (Twitter – YouTube). What’s most important to us is that we surround ourselves with good people and good Buffalo vibes.”
Dark Horse… My City, My Secret… it’s clear that Eddie is in it to win it for Buffalo. It shows in his shop, and in his Buffalo-forward attitude, which is a sentiment that is now pervasive throughout the city. That’s why he’s such a perfect fit for The Grid – a mixed-use development that caters to the young urban professional.
Up next, I’ll be touring the rest of The Grid with Kevin, to demonstrate how much one development project can change the face of a neighborhood, in ways that we could never really imagine… unless you’re Eddie of course, who always dreamed of possibilities such as this.