Owner: Daniel Torres
Established: May 1, 2019
Based in: Flushing, Queens
Link to website: www.gothambarbershopinc.com
As city salons and barbershops reopened their doors, many New Yorkers asked themselves the same question: Is it safe for me to go and get my hair cut?
Luckily, Gotham Barbershop was there as the grooming hero the city deserves, and one it needs right now.
To honor his late father, a comic book artist who had an undying love for “The Batman,” Daniel Torres brought “Gotham” to Flushing, Queens with a batman-themed barbershop in 2019.
Opening up a comic-themed barbershop meant that he was able to create a welcoming haircut space for families with young kids — something Torres says isn’t common.
“I really wanted to open up a shop that was family friendly,” Torres said. “I want families to be able to come here.”
Torres said that the barbershop sometimes feels like a “home away from home” for his own two young sons, Julian and Giovanni, when they’re able to visit. He hopes to keep this welcoming energy for his other customers, too, as the barbershop all caped crusaders visit to get their cut.
From batarang razors and a batmobile kids chair, to a life-size Batman statue, Torres does everything he can to emphasize “Gotham” right in the heart of Flushing, Queens.
Torres said he never imagined that he’d be forced to close his doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially not after being so near his one-year anniversary of opening in May.
“I poured my heart and soul into this shop so to have to close down after being open for less than a year was very nerve wracking,” Torres said.
In the midst of uneasiness, Torres was able to stay optimistic and adapt to the four months he had to close by selling Gotham-themed merchandise. He said it was important for his brand to stay relevant and introduced branded T-shirts and face masks as a way to make sales safely.
Eventually, Torres was able to join countless other small business owners in reopening their doors to the community again.
Today, the shop is currently taking customers by appointment only and has set up mandatory temperature checks upon arrival. To ensure the safety of his customers and staff, Torres sanitizes chairs after each customer and even provides personal hand sanitizers for each guest to leave with.
Understanding the struggles that countless other business owners are facing, he leaves this message for the Flushing community:
“Everyone needs help right now — it’s not just me, it’s not just my neighbors, it’s everybody. It’s important that us business owners stick together because we’re all in this together; no one is going through this alone.”