Family-owned barbershop opens in Binky Commons

by Jennifer Taggart

Hinckley residents David Stefanec and Sarah Campbell had a tradition of going to Hinckley Coffee and Donuts with their four kids before the first day of school and taking pictures of the historic building next door. Little did Stefanec know, he would one day be that building’s tenant.

“I’m ecstatic about this,” Stefanec said. “It’s been dark on the corner for so long.”

Stefanec’s Barbershop opened in Binky Commons on Saturday, July 24.

Stefanec’s father, Frank, and his three brothers, Joe, Steve and John, immigrated from Slovenia and started the original Stefanec’s Barbershop on Superior Avenue in downtown Cleveland in 1969. The second generation of the Stefanec family — all eight children —became barbers. David Stefanec and his sister, Julia, started a barbershop in Fairview Park in 2006.

Tommy Vanover, co-owner of Binky Commons, was looking for ideas to renovate the area of his building that once operated as a beverage store. When he was out with a group of friends on Halloween last year, Hinckley Police Chief David Centner joked that the empty space in the Binky Commons building would be a good place for a barbershop because he would be able to walk to get a haircut.

“If you send me a barber, we’ll entertain putting a barbershop in here,” Vanover told Centner. Vanover posted a request for barbers to the Binky Commons Facebook page.

Many people commented on and shared the post. Binky Commons spoke with two other barbers before connecting with David Stefanec last winter. Stefanec’s Barbershop bought the building, replaced the floor, added extra parking in the back and put a window on the Center Road side of the building.

“When we were talking about these things, they appreciated the building, they respected the building,” Vanover said. “They didn’t want it to look like some corporate hair care place.”

“It’s a mirrored image of our original walk-in barbershop,” Stefanec said. “There’s no appointments. We have a lot of seniors who don’t even have smart phones to adapt to the apps to book an appointment, and it just doesn’t make sense with our whole structure over here.”

Stefanec said he is excited to create a connection place through his barbershop.

“We always say, ‘You never know who’s in the barber chair underneath the cape.’ It could be a police officer, fireman, lawyer, you name it,” Stefanec said. “When someone comes in, next thing you know, they know each other and conversation strikes.”

Stefanec said he is hiring a barber for the new Hinckley location.

“We’re here, we’re open, but we’re short barbers and we’re out of family members,” Stefanec said. “So we’re waiting for the third generation which had already started, but the other ones are still in school, still in elementary school, so we’ve got a little ways for them.” ∞