April 24, 1931 – Aug. 14, 2013
Augustine “Chick” Cicatello, a well-known barber whose shop on the Elmwood strip was a fixture for more than 50 years, died Wednesday in Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga. He was 82.
Born on the city’s Lower West Side, Mr. Cicatello worked construction for a time before a head injury suffered in a construction accident put him out of work. That accident proved opportune, however, when his local barber convinced him to try his hand at cutting hair at a barber school.
“If you’re not a barber,” the owner of the barber school is said to have exclaimed after seeing Mr. Cicatello cut hair, “you should be a barber.”
For the next five-plus decades, Mr. Cicatello cut hair for a living, first at a barbershop on West Utica Street just west of Elmwood Avenue, and later as owner of Chick’s Barber Shop on Elmwood near Breckenridge Street, which he opened in 1957.
Mr. Cicatello did business in that location for 47 years, providing haircuts to prominent and ordinary Buffalonians alike, until a fire in October 2004 ripped through a neighboring coffee shop and his beloved barbershop. Luckily, his landlord offered him a new storefront – at the very same Utica Street location where his career as a barber began, it just so happened.
Regulars enjoyed Chick’s Barbershop as much for its reputation as a community hangout as for Mr. Cicatello’s excellent haircuts. The shop’s walls were lined with celebrity-autographed photos and Buffalo memorabilia, including a model of the Crystal Beach boat. In recognition of his status as a local celebrity, Erie County Executive Joel Giambra proclaimed Sept. 30, 2002, “Augustine Cicatello Day.”
Mr. Cicatello enjoyed travel, bingo and trying his luck at casinos, alongside his wife of 58 years, Virginia.
In addition to his wife, survivors include two daughters, Deborah and Michele; and a son, Mark.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9 a.m. Saturday in St. Margaret Catholic Church, 1395 Hertel Ave.