By Dean Stattmann
With the amount of New York barbershops fast approaching the number of taxi-cabs, one institution remains a cut above the rest. Ever wondered what it would feel like to walk away from a pedicure with your dignity intact? Step into John Allan’s and find out.
For over 20 years, men’s grooming pioneer John Allan Meing has put the man in manicure and removed the hassle from looking sharp. His revolutionary grooming clubs, which combine the comfortable environment of a men’s club with that of your classic barbershop, cater to the man who wants to look good. And with upwards of 10,000 members in New York City alone, there’s no question that they are out there.
“It’s totally different from a barbershop,” says Kimberly Donlin, a receptionist at the Washington Street club. “I never knew about John Allan’s when I came here. I was just like, Oh my God, guys are so lucky, because women don’t have this.”
Since the opening of his first club in the depths of Manhattan’s financial district in 1988, Meing has worked towards introducing men to a lifestyle that he hopes will encourage them to care more about their appearances and cultivate a general sense of well-being. When walking into the club, this message radiates from the suave environment and friendly staff. But there’s other cool stuff too.
“We have a bar, a pool table, a screening room in the back with a huge screen and comfy leather chairs so guys can just bring their friends,” Says Donlin. “We have tons of guys who come here just to hang out and you don’t really have that in a barber shop. They’ll come here for, say, a pedicure and then just hang out at the bar for an hour.”
Amongst the medley of services offered at each of the John Allan’s locations, of which there are now four in New York City, the clear favorite is Meing’s signature Full Service ($65). This service – the club’s claim to fame – includes a scalp-massaging shampoo, conditioning treatment, relaxing hot towel, haircut, manicure, shoe shine and beverage of your choice, all in less than 40 minutes.
Meing’s exclusive collection of award-winning hair, skin care and shaving products can also be found at Saks, Barneys and Harrods, however stopping by your nearest John Allan’s is highly recommended. It’s one way to end your lunch break with a smile on your face!
Photos by Dean Stattmann