CH's Chuck Falk is haircutter to the stars
Chuck Falk, manager and master barber at Eddy’s Barbershop on Coventry Road, has become a haircutter to the stars. Over the past few months, Falk has expanded his business, and his clients now include Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel and hip-hop artist G-Eazy.
Falk started cutting Manziel’s hair last July, when the Browns opened their training camp in Berea. One of Manziel’s representatives had contacted Michael Hurley, who owns a clothing store on West 25th Street in Cleveland, and Hurley recommended Falk.
The barber went to the hotel where the players were staying in Berea and cut Manziel’s hair. Since then, he has been cutting Manziel’s hair on a regular basis. “I usually do it before the team heads out of town for a road game, or before they play a game here in Cleveland,” Falk said. But Manziel doesn’t come to Eddy’s. Instead, Falk goes to Manziel’s apartment downtown.
Similarly, G-Eazy’s manager contacted Vince Manzano at Heart and Soul, the Coventry clothing and shoe store, back in March 2014, and Manzano recommended Falk. “G-Eazy had come to our store once when he was in Cleveland on tour, and he has stayed in touch ever since,” Manzano said. “So they called me, asking about a possible barber, and I knew that G-Eazy’s hair style was more of a 1950s look, sort of clean and easy, and I knew that Chuck had an affinity for that kind of style. And he’s very good.”
“G-Eazy was playing a show at the House of Blues, and his haircutter had left the tour,” Falk said. “So he asked me to come down to the House of Blues and do a handful of haircuts.” The Oakland-based rapper sells VIP tickets to his shows that include a backstage haircut. Falk did the VIP haircuts in Cleveland, then the rapper asked Falk to stay on the road for the rest of the tour. “I went to Detroit, Toronto and Montreal, and I cut hair for G-Eazy, his fans and his crew,” Falk said. He returned to Cleveland just before Eddy’s Barbershop opened on March 27, 2014.
When G-Eazy hit the road for a fall tour this past October, he asked Falk to be the official haircutter. “I did the first 10 days of the tour,” Falk said. “That included shows on the West Coast and in the Southwest part of the country. Then I came back to Cleveland so I could be here at the barbershop.”
On Nov. 12, G-Eazy once again played the House of Blues, and Falk rejoined the rapper for the rest of the tour, which included shows in the Midwest, as well as Seattle, Portland, Ore., and Oakland, Calif. “G-Eazy had about 20 people on the road with him, including the production, sound and lighting people,” Falk said. “And I was not only cutting hair, but was a glorified stagehand, unloading equipment and helping them set up the stage.”
The fall tour again included haircuts for people who bought VIP tickets, and Falk set up a small barbershop backstage at each venue. “We had an eight-foot-by-eight-foot wooden floor, a barber chair and a neon G-Eazy sign that we would put up backstage,” recalled Falk. “It made it look like there was actually a little barbershop there.”
Meanwhile, business is great at Eddy’s Barbershop. When the shop opened, Falk was the only barber. Since then, two more barbers—Ryan Hardwick and Bobby Bushay—have joined the team, and Falk said he might be adding more. The shop also has its fair share of well-known clients, such as Jonathon Sawyer, a Cleveland Heights resident who owns several Cleveland restaurants, including the Greenhouse Tavern, Trentina and Noodlecat. Several members of the Cleveland Orchestra, as well as the chefs from Trentina and Flour Restaurant, also get their hair cut at Eddy’s.
“There was really a need for what we do,” said Falk, who is getting married in June and recently bought a house in Cleveland Heights. “Cleveland guys want and need a place where they can come and get their hair cut, and where the focus is on men’s styles. And that’s what we offer.”
Falk said that the shop is talking to the company that produces Town Branch whiskey, and that Eddy’s might start having whiskey tastings. “It would be after-hours,” Falk said, “and it would only be for our customers.”
James Henke, a Cleveland Heights resident, was a writer and editor at Rolling Stone magazine for 15 years. He is also the author of several books, including biographies of Jim Morrison, John Lennon and Bob Marley.