Making the Cut
For men who'd rather skip the 'beauty salon' routine
By CRAIG BESTROM
A typical scene at Truman’s Gentlemen’s Groomers, a men-only salon in Midtown Manhattan, goes something like this: Well-dressed guy walking along East 56th Street stops, presses his face to the glass and peers in. Moments later he steps inside. He’s probably in his 30s or 40s, maybe his 50s or 60s, and sometimes he’s holding a Truman’s gift card. Greeted by personnel, he says, hesitating, “Uh, I think this is the spa where I’m supposed to be.”
That’s when we tell him to have a seat at the bar, relax and have a beer,” says Truman’s co-founder Joe Marchesi.
Truman’s opened in May 2006, not long after Marchesi and John Esposito Jr. quit their jobs as marketing managers at IBM. The pair, along with another buddy, Hans Deutmeyer, had discussed more than a hundred ideas for start-up businesses before deciding on a high-end barbershop with spa and salon services. It’s a cool place for a haircut, but it’s also a comfortable environment for a man to consider having a facial or a manicure.
If you’re a man in New York City, or anywhere really, and you want a good haircut, your only option was to go to a women’s salon, where you just weren’t wanted,” says Marchesi. “We wanted to bring back elements of the old-school barbershop, combined with the highest quality hair stylists, and create a place where guys would walk out after a haircut saying, ‘That was actually enjoyable.’“
Whether you’re there for a haircut or something more, the first stop is always the bar. There you’re treated to a complimentary beer, cocktail or soft drink, which you can sip while read a paper or watching sports on flat-screen TVs. From there, you’re escorted to a modern version of the classic barber chair, separated from other customers by semi-translucent screens so you can privately consult with your stylist.
The most popular selection on Truman’s menu of services is The Professional. For $85 you get a wash, cut and style, lengthy scalp massage, a shoe shine and a manicure, called “handshake maintenance.” Truman’s also offers a variety of massages, pedicures (called “Foot Repair”) and face treatments to keep your skin looking youthful.
Yes, TLC for your feet and your face. Considering all you put them through every time you play a round of golf, a little special attention is the least you can do for them.