When you’re a JetBlue flight attendant sometimes you visit cool places. Christian Santiago was in one of those places when SFGN connected with him from the Dominican Republic for this profile. He was eager to help spread the word about Dick’s Service Station in Oakland Park while his husband, owner-operator Eric McKnight, was attending to a family matter.
The couple has been together for 10 years and were married about two years ago.
Dick’s is a full-service barbershop, so there are the typical services. But McKnight cranks it up a few notches with a cosmetologist and manicurist as two of 17 “pit crew members” on staff.
The pit crew designation is because the shop is modeled to look like an old fashioned 1950s service station with antiques and artifacts from that era. Services range from cuts to coloring, waxing, beard trimming and more. Much of the clientele is LGBT, a group the duo works to stay close with.
“We stay connected to the LGBT community through in-kind and financial sponsorships with Broward House, Front Runners and the Gay Men’s Chorus to name a few,” Santiago said, adding that a portion of every service is donated back to the gay community.
Dick’s gives local police and fire employees discounted services, too. McKnight, after all, is a retired Suffolk County (New York) police detective with 28 years on the force.
“Both of us have strong philanthropic backgrounds, supporting and volunteering for local and national causes, events and charities,” Santiago said.
The couple donated a fully equipped barbershop, modeled to look like a miniature version of Dick’s, to The Poverello Center.
“This equipment allows our pit crew members to volunteer their time several times a week,” Santiago said.
Dick’s, soon to enter its third year in business, is located at 3528 NE 12th Ave. More is at Dicks954.com.