A few weeks ago, Vice Barber introduced a new locally made, hand-crafted bay rum after-shave to its customers. The five-ounce bottles of the after-shave were so popular, plans have already been made to expand the line to possibly include a beard oil and hair tonic and to launch it eventually with Robert Mason. The idea came to Vice owner Mitch Geiser, as many things do, during some shop talk, this time with customer and friend Nick Meister, who made the after-shave with his brother-in-law Joey Francisco as a sort-of experiment. We sat down with Geiser recently to talk about some of his other favorite things, many of which you’ll already be familiar with if you’ve visited the Clintonville barbershop.
Genesee Cream Ale
Isn’t “cream” with beer the worst description ever? The word creamy has so much bad imagery, but I’m a sucker for it because it’s so cheap and I kind of like having the weird thing nobody else drinks either. It’s always been the thing my friends know me for. They’ve all given me shit for it, but I’ve totally won some over. If I’m getting cheap beer, that’s what I’m going for. Or even if I’m not getting cheap beer, that’s what I’m going for.
8 Tracks app
I was at Buckeye Donuts [about six months ago] and … it was clear they were streaming [trap music]. So I asked, and the dude’s like, “Oh, 8 Tracks.” It was one of those things where you could tell the dude was way cooler than you and … you pretend to understand what they mean. I ended up finding the app and was blown away with how easy it was to use and how far you could go with it. It’s set up like a playlist app, but the playlists are made by people like you and me. The cool thing is it’ll show you how many people played the playlist and how many liked it. It’s got this organic feel to it. It’s done by the people, for the people.
The general assumption with tattoo artists is they are these raw dudes who are going to kill you — super intimidating. But these are my dudes. They’re real chill and cool as hell. I have two tattoos from [Chris] Carter, and they’re big pieces, so I’ve spent a lot of time with him. He comes into the shop, too. Dino [Nemec], I have a big piece from him on my arm, so I’ve spent a lot of time with him, too. The atmosphere in there’s very different. They’re down to get into real talk, and they’re down to just goof off and have fun. You don’t go there just to get the product. It’s a relationship.
I used to skate back in the day, but I might be giving myself too much credit. A big part of skate culture is shoes, partially because you’re running through them every five months, and partially because all these dudes make really cool shoes. I usually have a couple pairs at any given time, and I have my old beat-up pairs. Zappos has a partner site, 6pm.com, and they have Vans like crazy on there. They’re super cheap. I got these for Christmas; they’ve held up for eight months. They’re super simple — not overly flashy. You can wear Vans with just about anything.
Taking pictures at abandoned junkyards
Dino actually told me about this, it’s about 30 miles south. He’s like, “dude you gotta check this out. Take pictures there.” There’s an abandoned motel there. Real creepy. All the doors were ripped open, ceilings are ripped down, every TV’s bashed in. We’re trying to find this motel and … stumbled upon this junkyard. It’s awesome. We parked our car and get out and there’s thousands and thousands of cars. It’s just rows and rows and rows of cars. We start wandering around. Some of these cars had to have been there since the ’50s because all that’s left are these rusted frames. We probably spent two hours there and could have easily spent more. Everything about it was so cool. We totally got tons of awesome photos. The neat thing about it, too, is after I went I found [local photographer] Adam Elkins had been there too, and had done a lot of photography there. So, it made it feel like this unique spot. I felt proud of myself to land on it, but it was cool that other people had done so too.