The Student News Site of Canalside Chronicles

Canalside Chronicles

The Student News Site of Canalside Chronicles

Canalside Chronicles

The Student News Site of Canalside Chronicles

Canalside Chronicles

A second chance
May 7, 2024

    From life-long friends to business partners


    By: Matt Hanes

    BROCKPORT, N.Y. — Michael “Stan” Schoeberl and Joseph “Sammy” Michael have been friends and coworkers for as long as they can remember. The two became friends while attending college at SUNY Brockport. That friendship continues today as co-owners of Barber’s Tap and Grill on Main Street.

    Michael “Stan” Schoeberl (left) and Joseph “Sammy” Michael (right), the co-owners of Barber’s Grill and Tap Room. (Canalside Chronicles/Matt Hanes).

    In 1995, Barber’s was for sale after the original family wanted to sell the business. Both Schoeberl and Michael bought Barber’s. Since that day, they have been in the restaurant working hard to satisfy every customer that comes in, from the regulars to the new customers.

    “It’s really awesome, we are friends too and business partners at the same time. So it’s actually been pretty easy for us.” Schoeberl said.

    Outside customers on Main Street at Barber’s Grill and Tap Room on March 4, 2024. They are waiting for their food. (Canalside Chronicles/Matt Hanes).

    The synergy between both owners was something that came naturally. They both described the transition from roommates to owners as painless, still doing their same jobs except they now owned Barber’s.

    “Well, we worked here before so it was kind of seamless,” Michael said. “We just went right from bartending and working, and then the next day we were owners.”

    Customers watching television and talking to workers while they prepare their food at Barber’s Grill and Tap Room on March 4, 2024. (Canalside Chronicles/Matt Hanes).

    Something that sets Barber’s apart from other bars is the history within the business. The restaurant has been up and running since 1929 by different members of the Barber family until the sale to Michael and Schoeberl in 1995.

    “We have a lot of history and character in the place, there’s people that have been here that have known the place for almost 100 years. So we’ve been here a lot longer than most places and we try to be a part of the community.” Michael said.

    Workers at Barber’s Grill and Tap Room on March 4, 2024 preparing a burger for customers waiting on their food. (Canalside Chronicles/Matt Hanes).

    In a college town, Barber’s is unlike any other bar. Many other bars are open throughout the night, but Barber’s welcomes all guests.

    Schoeberl and Michael believe the bar is not able to be categorized, truly displaying the welcoming nature of Barber’s. Both dedicate hours upon hours to their work, making sure that everything goes right. Even when faced with opportunities to leave Brockport, they chose to stay local.

    “We stayed in Brockport for Barber’s,” Michael said. “We were here working, and we knew the opportunity was going to come up to be owners, so we stayed because we wanted to become owners of Barber’s.”

    Merchandise sold at Barber’s Grill and Tap Room on Main Street. These pieces of clothing are worn by workers every day. (Canalside Chronicles/Matt Hanes).

    While the history sets Barber’s apart, Schoeberl and Michael add new innovations to the menu that create a great new feel to the bar. Their specialty dish, “The Balboa” blends grilled roast beef and peppers with grilled onions, mushrooms, hot sauce and American cheese for customers to enjoy.

    “We have had many menu updates,” Schoeberl said. “But we basically keep the same kind of
    items and update them, always trying to use the best ingredients.”

    “Stan” and “Sammy” plan to keep running Barber’s until they grow too old to do so, making sandwiches and pouring drinks until they retire. The bond between the life-long friends creates a warm environment that keeps regulars and college students coming back.

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