Diesel Barbershop, a San Antonio-based chain that calls itself “a man cave for great haircuts,” intends to open this summer in Gateway Village at Town Center.
“The look and feel of Diesel Barbershop is part barbershop, part salon, part old school record store, part mechanics garage, part tattoo shop, and part vintage arcade,” says its website, dieselbarbershop.com.
“So come on by, play a video game, watch some TV, enjoy the music, or just get your hair cut in a shop that was made just for you.”
Diesel Barbershop also offers beer from local breweries, it said.
Franchise owner and North Florida area developer Eric Bauer said the timing and the market location, at 5016 Gate Parkway, are right.
“You have a lot of female-centric salons or budget hair cut places, and then you do have barbershops across Jacksonville, but they are small, independent shops. Diesel saw an opportunity,” he said.
Bauer said that opportunity is to offer the décor, environment and services that resonate with customers. Diesel services range from hot towel shaves to clean-ups to full-service cuts.
The original Diesel Barbershop was launched in 2011 and the company began selling franchises in 2018. A news release said Diesel now has 11 locations open across the country and projects another 25 by year-end, with more than 100 franchise licenses sold.
Bauer said he chose Gateway Village because of the location.
“As soon as I decided on the concept, I knew the first location would be more than my first Diesel Barbershop. This would launch the brand. This would be a location that warrants being a flagship for an emerging brand,” he said.
The center is south of St. Johns Town Center, the area's major shopping destination.
He said Gateway Village, developed by Cantrell & Morgan, is between the Town Center and a growing office park presence, as well as apartments and homes. “With all the corporate presence and growth along Gate Parkway, Gateway Village makes a ton of sense.”
The location will be a leased space between Burrito Gallery and Midtown Table. Both have patios and Bauer wants to create outdoor space for his customers, too.
The shop will feature 10 barber chairs, with a large TV at every station. Along with the Diesel décor, Bauer said there will be elements that reflect Northeast Florida.
The barbers and staff will be Diesel employees and trained in its system and procedures.
Diesel Barbershop cites a 2017 Forbes report that barbering is the fastest-growing profession in the U.S. with a growth estimate of 10%. It predicts that revenue for barbershops will reach up to $910 million by 2020.
Diesel's website lists 19 shops open or under construction, comprising nine in Texas, seven in Georgia, two in Arizona and one in Florida, in Naples.
Diesel says on its website that its customers are 20 to 60 years old with a couple of years of college or a college degree, “who care about their appearance and are willing to spend a little more to get a quality haircut.”
Prices at the Naples shop start at $5 for a basic beard trim, $35 for a cut and shampoo and $60 for a cut and shave. A full face and head shave starts at $80.
Bauer declined to estimate his investment in the project. The city is reviewing a permit application that shows a construction cost of $75,000, but that is not final and does not include interior equipment, furnishings and décor.
Bauer said he researched concepts before choosing Diesel Barbershop.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Bauer's corporate background includes serving as director of product development at Web.com from April 2017-18 and marketing manager for Southeastern Grocers from February 2016-April 2017.
Before that, he worked with SC Johnson as an associate brand manager, and with Alcon, a Novartis company.
Bauer earned a marketing degree from the University of Florida in 2001 and, after about a decade in sales, brand and marketing management, an MBA from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2011.