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A lasting legacy

Rocky DiFlorio celebrates 50 years of cutting hair in Fayetteville

Rocky DiFlorio’s barbershop is the last of its kind in the eastern suburbs. Customers are treated to the full barbershop experience, including a straight razor shave. In the chair is Bruce McMorris, of Cazenovia, who has been coming to Rocky’s since his barber retired more than 10 years ago.

Rocky DiFlorio’s barbershop is the last of its kind in the eastern suburbs. Customers are treated to the full barbershop experience, including a straight razor shave. In the chair is Bruce McMorris, of Cazenovia, who has been coming to Rocky’s since his barber retired more than 10 years ago. Allie Wenner

— Walking into DiFlorio’s Barbershop in the heart of the village of Fayetteville is like taking a step back in time. From the old-fashioned barber chairs, to the straight razors on the counter, to the photos on the walls – many of which are older than the shop itself, and depict early images of the village of Fayetteville, old Fayetteville-Manlius High School sports teams and pictures of Rocky DiFlorio, the owner, and his family members in the barbershop’s early days- you don’t see many places with this kind of history anymore.

“It’s a barbershop – and there are no more barbershops in the Manlius area,” Rocky said. “You don’t see anybody doing things that I do, like shaving around the ears with a straight razor. It’s the old-fashioned barbershop, it’s part of what I call Americana – we are America.”

DiFlorio’s, which is better known as Rocky’s Barbershop, first opened its doors in 1960 by Rocky’s cousins. Rocky was 14 at the time, but had already started cutting hair at his father’s barbershop, which was located across from Heid’s in Liverpool.

“I grew up in my uncle’s restaurant, the Rustic Inn [now Dominick’s Restaurant],” he said. “But if I wasn’t in that restaurant, I was in my father’s barbershop.”

When Rocky turned 18, he joined his cousins at their barbershop in Fayetteville because his father’s place didn’t have the space to accommodate another barber. His first day was on Feb. 1, 1964, and he’s been working at shop, located on East Genesee St. in the village, ever since.

At that time, there were ten barbers in the Fayetteville-Manlius area alone. But soon after Rocky started working, one event changed the barbershop industry forever.

“Believe me, every barber who was in the business remembers February 4, 1964 – that’s the day the Beatles came to America,” he said. “They had the long, shaggy hair, and that’s when long hair took right off. By 1972, all of the barbershops in the area except for us and one other place were gone.”

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