Face Time With Garbo's Dominick Barbano


By Debbie Truong

Even students who haven’t been inside Garbo’s can recognize the salon's freshly-minted customer: orange-tinted skin, thin, meticulous eyebrows, and "sun-streaked" hair. But someone that students don't know as well is Dominick Barbano, the man behind the operation. Barbano, who has owned the salon for the past 15 years, dishes about tequila shots, his dream job, and his dougie-ing skills.

In one sentence, describe your typical clientele. Our typical client is female, well-versed in fashion and style, and looking for a facility that can provide her with whatever she desires. However, a third of our clients are men. They come in for waxing frequently. Fashion dictates that men are involved in "manscaping." Also, probably 15% of our clientele for tanning are men.

Craziest body part a girl has requested to be waxed? Full legs. Why not just shave?

How do you prepare for sorority formal season? We typically contact all the sororities, and we’re very much involved with the Greek community. We set up a day for each house and make our services available, typically discounted or on sale, so that the girls get manicures, pedicures, their hair done, bikini waxes, and whatever else they so desire to make their event successful.

Let's say Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbuck’s are closed. Where do you get your coffee, and what’s your order? Bruegger's. Vanilla coffee with cream and two Splenda, and if I feel adventurous, I’ll get a toasted everything bagel with cream cheese.

What’s something people don’t know about you? I’m in the process of writing a book about life and philosophy.

Most embarrassing drunk incident? Several years ago, just prior to graduation, one of the students invited me to Faegan's. We ordered 24 shots of tequila. After giving several away, I consumed several and stood up to get a cab home. I realized standing was no longer an option.

What was your dream job when you were in college? Working with women and making money. I have succeeded in doing both. I’ve been the owner of several salons since I was 23.

Best memory of your college years? They were very short. I dropped out my freshman year.

What was your last recurring dream? I have a dream where I’m in a cabin, with my woman, and she is handing me ammunition as we are under attack in pioneer times. Previous life?

If you could be in any sorority, which one would you be in? There’s no way I can answer. I’ll piss off every one I don’t answer with! I love all the houses and it would be an honor to be in any one of them.

Weirdest thing you’ve witnessed in Syracuse? The reaction of a girlfriend’s parents the first time I was invited to her home for dinner. In an attempt to break the ice, I mentioned, without looking, that they had a lovely view from their dining room window. Everyone gazed out the window, and two dogs were doing what two dogs do. Needless to say, I was never invited to dinner again.

Can you dougie? No, though I’m a good dancer. I grew up doing disco, so it’s all about rhythm.