Richie Bianchino feels right at home and rightfully so.
The former Winthrop High School football and basketball player and assistant coach of the Vikings’ 2011 state championship basketball team has opened a new barbershop at 51 Revere Street, his third shop in a growing success story.
Bianchino, always one to generate good cheer, has named his shop, Bah Bah Winthrop, making light of the illustrious Boston accent where the letter ‘r’ is sometimes a no-show.
Bianchino, 33, also owns and operates two shops in Boston: Bah Bah State Street and Bah Bah North Station. He opened his first shop 18 months ago.
The current COVID-19 pandemic affected business at his Boston shops. “It was going well with six people cutting hair in the first shop and we were really busy and then it all crashed,” Bianchino related in typical candor.
Still, he pressed on and when the owner of another Boston barber shop reached out to him and asked if he would be interested in acquiring the business, Bianchino negotiated a deal and he opened his second shop.
As a longtime resident of Winthrop, Bianchino knew that the vacant store on Revere Street had previously housed barber shops.
“I told the landlord that I would love to take it over and he gave me a great opportunity,” related Bianchino. “I talked it over with my wife [former Winthrop schoolteacher Marissa Bianchino] and we felt it would be a lot better for me to be closer to home with our two young kids [Richie Jr. and Mia], so we decided to open a barbershop in Winthrop.”
Arriving in Winthrop
The son of Barbara Hoey, Richie Bianchino grew up in East Boston and came to Winthrop at the age of 12.
A 2005 Winthrop High graduate, Bianchino played varsity football and basketball for the Vikings. The tough and talented 6-footer was a left tackle and defensive end for the Vikings when Anthony Fucillo was the star quarterback. Two years later, the sophomores on that team led Winthrop to an undefeated season and a Super Bowl title.
“Matt Murray, Jason Griffin, James Fucillo – I saw the greatness coming when they were sophomores,” said Bianchino. “I remember Matt Murray’s game versus Swampscott when he first got a big role in the offense. I blocked for him and Matt gained 205 yards running virtually all to the left – which was my side, and I still tease him about that.”
Bianchino later returned to the WHS basketball program as an assistant on his former coach Dave Brown’s staff. The Vikings won a state championship in 2011 at the Boston Garden. “We beat Cohasset in the state finals,” said Bianchino. “Joe D’Amore played great in the fourth quarter and Anthony Hatzisavas dominated the whole tournament.”
Bianchino would duplicate the feat as an assistant coach when Brown became the head coach at his alma mater, St. Mary’s High School, and the school won a state championship.
Bianchino said he is forever grateful to his football coach, Tony Fucillo, and his basketball coach, Dave Brown.
“I could talk about Coach Fucillo for days,” said Bianchino. “They’re going to name the fieldhouse for him and I was happy to send a letter on his behalf. They picked my letter to read my comments at a meeting and it goes to show how I really feel about that guy. He’s done a lot for me in my life. I wouldn’t be where I am if it weren’t for coach Fucillo and coach Brown. Those two guys changed my life.”
Opening a shop in Winthrop
At the age of 24, Bianchino received his barber’s license. He worked for six months at Top Quality Barber Shop at 51 Revere St.
Bianchino then took a job in Everett and continued in the hairstyling profession in downtown Boston. He is now putting the finishing touches on his new shop in Winthrop.
“It’s great to be home and I’m excited for it,” said Bianchino. “I live in the town and I’ll be walking to work. It’s great to be close to home. It’s a new challenge, though. I have to build a new clientele. Most of my current clientele is based out of Boston.”
Bianchino said he will be doing a lot of marketing, including advertising and social media.
Bianchino said he came to Winthrop as a young boy “and I fell in love with the town.”
“It’s a great town and I hope to live here the rest of my life,” he said. “Right now we’re renting an apartment but the goal is one day to buy a house here. I love it here. It’s a great place to raise a family. It’s close to Boston. Winthrop is a hidden gem.”