November 18, 2016 6:27 pm

Need a cut on the run? Edmonton man opens city’s first mobile barbershop

WATCH ABOVE: For decades, if not centuries, the barber shop has changed very little. Now, in Edmonton, one new shop is taking on a very different look and the barber says he expects to see other service based businesses follow his lead. Fletcher Kent has the story.

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If food companies can do it, why not barbers? That was the mentality of Fadi Farhat when he decided to open up a barbershop inside of a van. Think food truck, but for haircuts.

Earlier this year, Farhat looked into renting a space downtown for his shop but the prices were simply too high. With rent at around $7,000 per month, Farhat figured he would have to charge $45 a cut.

“Too much overhead downtown to get a spot,” Farhat said. “I wanted to do a simple business (with) decent price for clients.”

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In his search for the perfect downtown space, Farhat couldn’t help but notice the number of food trucks that call downtown home. Able to set up along the street without the high cost of rent seemed like the ideal business situation.

“I said, ‘I’m going to ask the city to give me a licence to open a mobile barber.'”

And so Mobile Barber Cut and Run was born. After receiving a business licence and permit from the city, Farhat bought a van and transformed it into his own personal barbershop.

Now, you can find the mobile barbershop set up five days a week in the heart of downtown on the side of Rice Howard Way.

“It’s more comfortable for me and the client,” Farhat said. “One barber, one client at a time… and right in the downtown core.”

The intimate space comes complete with a barber’s chair and is fully equipped with a sink, hairdryers and mirrors.

T.J. Jomha works right across the street and stopped in on a whim Monday afternoon.

“I found it very novel and interesting. I needed a quick cleanup so I just popped in,” he said.

“I think everybody’s time constrained these days and everybody’s on the go so to be able to walk off the street and into something mobile like this is just quick and convenient.”

Because Farhat was able to save on rent, he said he’s been able to charge far less for a haircut than if he were set up in a building. His price for a man’s cut is $21, which he said it about half the price of other area barbers.

“It’s half the price because it’s half the cost.”

Farhat is the first barber in Edmonton to go mobile.

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