On Broadway, a Barber to New York’s Athletic Icons

by Megan Dreher & Stephen ZubryckyFeatures Editor & Managing Editor

Dozens of Manhattan College students have more in common with current and former New York sports stars Odell Beckham Jr., Eli Manning, Jason Kidd and Brook Lopez than you’d think.

Since 2009, native Bronxite Davey Castillo has been the owner of Davey Cuts, a small barber shop located just off campus at 5987 Broadway. Castillo’s barbering career has taken off in the past five years, as he has picked up numerous high profile clients from all walks of New York’s professional sports scene.

Castillo was born into a barbering family. His father is a barber and still owns his own shop – Robert’s Barber Shop – at 5824 Broadway, near the corner of West 238th Street and just a five minute walk from Davey Cuts.

“My dad was a barber, and he owned a shop and right out of high school I started

working with him there,” Castillo said. “I was there 15 years with him…and then I’ve been here nine years, since 2009.”

Given its location, Manhattan College students and commuters who use the Van Cortlandt Park 242nd Street Subway Station have been Davey Cuts’ bread and butter since its opening.

“The college community has always been a big part of this business here,” Castillo said.

Castillo made his way onto the sports scene in 2013, when a friend of his, who was the security director for the Brooklyn Nets, referred Castillo to some of the players.

Former Nets Center Brook Lopez was the first professional athlete cut by Castillo and the business only went up from there.

Castillo’s clients have included Lopez, Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, Reggie Bullock of the Detroit Pistons, former Nets player and coach Jason Kidd, as well as several New York Giants, including Odell Beckham Jr., Eli Manning and Rashad Jennings.

The Giants are such fans of Castillo’s work that he now makes the trip to the team’s facility in New Jersey to give haircuts every Friday.

“They’re always on camera and they’re always getting interviewed and they’re always on TV, so haircuts are a big thing,” Castillo said of his famous clients.

Castillo’s work has earned him the moniker “the lucky charm” among some of his clients, like Phoenix Suns player Devin Booker.

“Devin Booker… I cut his hair… the next day after I gave him a haircut, he scored 70 points in the game,” Castillo said. “And people were like, ‘oh, it was the haircut.’”

In his youth, Castillo was a devoted fan of the Giants, Knicks and Yankees. But as his career advanced, so did his rooting interests.

“Now, I don’t have favorite teams because I have relationships with all these different players,” Castillo said. “So, I become fans of my guys that I work with. I root for players now more than teams.”

For Castillo, his career and his relationships with professional athletes are childhood dreams delivered.

“Growing up I always played sports. Basketball is my passion,” Castillo said. “And I always wanted to make it to the NBA… so now that I get to work around these guys it’s actually a dream come true.”

Castillo wants to continue for as long as he can – cutting the hair of the Giants, the Nets and the Knicks, the Yankees, and, yes – the Jaspers.