Persistence pays off with opening of Red Buffalo Barbershop

Beth Ailie, pictured Tuesday, June 23, is the owner of Red Buffalo Barbershop at 515 8th St. S., Moorhead. (Helmut Schmidt / The Forum)

MOORHEAD - When life hands you a challenge, a little determination can go a long way.

Just ask Beth Ailie.

Ailie is the owner of Red Buffalo Barbershop, which recently opened at 515 8th St. S.

Her original plan was to open her shop in an entertainment center envisioned for Fargo Brewing. But as progress on that endeavor stalled, she and fellow entrepreneur, Justin Nudell, owner of Zoltar Tattoo, had to cast about for a new place to set up.

Where they landed was the clean, white two-story converted home near Concordia College and Minnesota State University Moorhead.


The building has big rooms, refinished wood floors and a mix of old and new wood built-ins. Red Buffalo’s two barber chairs - each in a room of their own - finish a picture that harkens back to another day and age of small businesses.

“The character of this; I love it,” Ailie said Tuesday, June 23. “This opportunity was too good to pass up. And we love Moorhead, so bonus there!”

Beth Ailie, owner of Red Buffalo Barbershop in Moorhead, gives Justin Nudell a haircut Tuesday, June 23. The shop recently opened at 515 8th St. S. (Helmut Schmidt / The Forum)

Zoltar Tattoo will be on the second floor, Nudell said, as he sat for a haircut.


Nudell and the tattoo artists that work with him will move in when renovations are completed in that part of the building.
He is also waiting on the shop’s Minnesota body art license, its issuance delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nudell looks forward to opening soon.


“It’s been a long time coming,” he said.

Beth Ailie's barbering tools await her next customer at Red Buffalo Barbershop in south Moorhead. (Helmut Schmidt / The Forum)

Ailie opened the shop June 8. She’s lived in Moorhead more than a decade and she’s proud of the fact that she is now a member of the Moorhead Business Association.

She received her barber training at Moler Barber College in Fargo and has been spiffing up area customers for about six years, including at Deluxe Barber Shop just up the street.

Until going to barber school, the Detroit Lakes native hadn’t realized that her family was thoroughly braided into the hair business.

A great-grandfather had been a barber in the Dassel-Cokato area. An aunt owns a barber shop in Detroit Lakes, and a cousin has also taken up the tonsorial arts, she said.

While Ailie’s shop has two chairs, she’s not looking for a second barber to join her - yet.


“I want to make sure we can both eat before that happens,” she said.

A haircut is $25. A head shave is $30. A neck shave is $10, but there are no beard trims “due to corona,” she said.

“That face-to-face … you are right there,” Ailie said. “I don’t want to get corona (COVID-19). If I’m not here, I’m not making money.”

Ailie said the delays in getting her shop opened are now a worry of the past.

“I just feel very blessed. Look around. This is so cool,” she said. “I do believe everything happens for a reason. It’s a divine thing.”

Red Buffalo’s hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.


Ailie prefers appointments, but because there is room available to social distance while waiting, she can do some walk-ins. Call 218-512-0198.

Helmut Schmidt is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead's business news team. Readers can reach him by email at, or by calling (701) 241-5583.
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