Manny “Fresko” Lopez, 29, works on styling Josh Cole. Cole has been coming to FresKo FadeZ Barbershop for a year. "It's the only place I'll go," says Cole. Photo by Rachel S. O'Hara

Style, and kegs, on tap at FresKo FadeZ barbershop

Let me introduce you to a barber who keeps keg in the back of his barbershop.

He also gave away 80 free haircuts last summer just in time for back-to-school.

And he has his own music video.

That’s Manny “Fresko” Lopez in a nutshell.

The 29-year-old barber has a passion for cutting hair, keeping people happy and giving back to his community.

Fresko opened FresKo FadeZ Barbershop in March 2012, but the third generation barber has been barbering as far back as he can remember. He learned to cut hair from his father at an early age, and practiced the techniques on his little cousins. His grandmother, too, had run a salon the generation before in Mexico.

Barbering runs in his blood.

A photo of Manny “Fresko” Lopez cutting his father's hair back in the 90s hangs inside the barbershop.

A photo of Manny “Fresko” Lopez cutting his father’s hair back in the 90s hangs inside the barbershop. Photo by Rachel S. O’Hara

His business, though, looks quite a bit different than the in-home clientele his father kept. The barbershop at 459 N. Lime Ave. has comfortable urban feel to it.

He has seven red leather barbering chairs, a great sound system and a collection of air compressors to blow off stray hair. Faces like Bob Marley and Marilyn Monroe hang alongside an enlarged family photo of Fresko cutting his father’s hair in the 90s.

The staff offers free beer to adults and Fresko switches up the music to match the clientele. Urban lyrics and beats don’t mesh with kid’s haircuts, and Fresko gets a wide spectrum of customers in his shop.

FresKo FadeZ started out small. He opened a two-chair barbershop in 300 square-foot space in half of a duplex. Business boomed, and he expanded to rent out the second half of the building. The overflow continued, and in 2013 he moved into his current spot.

Growth, lately, is a little more subtle. Sarasota had menial barber supply options, and he tired of waiting for an out of town truck to stop in town. This year he started carrying and selling barber supplies to the other shops in the region.

Fresko emphasizes style and detail. His careful cuts and the designs he shaves into hair are nearly as signature as his logo — two “F’s” on either side of a barber’s pole. The symbol has steadily popped up around Southwest Florida, but so has the barber himself.

The barbers at FresKo FadeZ include Austin Winter, Greg Miller, Manny “Fresko” Lopez, Tony Snow, Andre Pergolese and Danny Altland.

The barbers at FresKo FadeZ include Austin Winter, Greg Miller, Manny “Fresko” Lopez, Tony Snow, Andre Pergolas and Danny Altland. Photo by Rachel S. O’Hara

He recently gave away free haircuts at the grand opening of Solid, a new streetwear boutique downtown. Fresko hosts a barbecue at the shop at the end of each summer where he offers the community free haircuts, free games for the kids and a free meal.

There’s more to barbering than cutting hair. His job is about the community and the vibe.

And that passion is catching.

So much so, his oldest son, Manuel, is following in his footsteps. The 12-year-old already has a barber kit, and just like his father Manuel has already practiced on his grandfather’s hair. Fresko’s stepson, too, has taken to the craft.

The Lopez family already has a fourth generation of barbers in the making.

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