Freemans Sporting Club is branching out.
This story first appeared in the August 15, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The New York-based firm, which was spawned by the 2004 opening of the rustic, yet ultrahip Freemans Restaurant at the end of Manhattan’s Freeman Alley — and then grew to include an adjacent men’s wear store and barbershop in 2006 — has opened a second barbershop across town on Horatio Street.
The new location, a 750-square-foot space called F.S.C. Barber, which opened two weeks ago, marks the first expansion of the original Freemans Sporting Club concept.
“For me, it was a great opportunity to do a stand-alone barbershop,” said co-owner Sam Buffa, who oversees the barbershop arm of Freemans Sporting Club, along with co-owners William Tigertt and Taavo Somer, who run the restaurant and men’s wear store. The original, 360-square-foot barbershop, which is located at the rear of the men’s wear shop at 8 Rivington Street at Freeman Alley, features four chairs and services about 40 customers a day.
The larger space at 5 Horatio Street at West Fourth Street features eight chairs and Buffa said the shop could eventually service up to 80 customers a day. While he wouldn’t put a dollar value on that sort of customer traffic, industry sources estimate F.S.C. Barber could ring up between $500,000 and $1 million in sales volume in its first year, which would be comparable to the original location.
Subway tiles line the interior of F.S.C. Barber and mirrors at each cutting station are framed with dark wood fixtures, four of which are from a Twenties-era barbershop in Key West, Fla. The floorboards are made of salvaged Appalachian oak and the chairs themselves are antiques from Wisconsin.
“With this, I wanted to do a little bit of a cleaner look of Twenties and Thirties Deco,” Buffa said of the space — which Somer, who designs the Freemans Sporting Club men’s wear collection, worked on as architect. The space formerly housed Nick’s Hair Stylists.
Services at F.S.C. Barber range in price from $25 for a trim to $70 for a shave and haircut. A haircut alone is $40, as is a shave. At least a quarter of the Freemans’ barbershop business is in retail sales of grooming products, Buffa noted, and some of the brands that are carried include Geo. F. Trumper, Malin + Goetz, Edwin Jaeger, Baxter of California, D.R. Harris, Proraso and Musco Real.