ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Let’s say that you need — or maybe you just want — a manicure.
Let’s also say that you have a Y chromosome.
Doug Jones is ready for you. In fact, he was thinking of guys just like you when he opened 18|8 Fine Men’s Salon in Albuquerque’s North Towne Plaza.
At 18|8, men can choose from a menu of salon staples — from haircuts and highlights to eyebrow waxes and manicures — and get the grooming and pampering treatments in a space designed for them.
Jones said everything from the salon’s shampoos to its lounge-area magazine selections were chosen specifically for a male clientele. Several of the 18|8 services are truly man-specific, including the $27 classic shave (featuring a hot towel, hot lather and straight-edge razor) and the beard coloring.
“We’re geared to make a man feel comfortable here,” Jones said.
Usually it’s the haircuts that get men in the front door, Jones said, but the facials and waxing (eyebrows, nose and ears) have gained popularity.
The waxing is “not as scary as it sounds,” Jones said. “It’s a tough sell, but people are returning for the service.”
Jones — who worked previously as a geologist — said his own visit to a local, women’s-centric salon made him think that Albuquerque could use a male version.
“I didn’t fit in the chair at the shampoo station (at that salon), and I’m not a particularly large man,” Jones said, noting that 18|8 uses barber-shop chairs designed to accommodate a heftier frame. “It’s the idea of having a place where men can go and get a quality service. I saw a need for it.”
Jones’ salon boasts 12 semi-private stations, each with its own shampoo basin. Most services, from the classic haircut ($27-$37) to the “MANicure” ($20) and scalp treatment ($20), take place at those stations. (Waxing happens in a station toward the back.)
The 18|8 brand emerged in California, and its name refers to the percentage of chromium and nickel originally used in stainless steel.
Jones’ franchise is the only location outside the Golden State, and he said he’s been surprised at the clients he’s seen since opening in December.
“I thought we’d be isolating ourselves to professional men, but it’s been well-received outside of that,” he said.
But women be warned: while you aren’t banned from 18|8, you are definitely not the target market.
“I put it this way: we specialize in short haircuts, so if a woman has a short style then we’re more than happy (to help),” Jones said. “But if you want a big blowout and layers and layers for long hair, that’s really not what we specialize in.”
The salon is located at 5901 Wyoming NE, Suite P6, near the Academy and Wyoming intersection.
It is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday.
The phone number is 294-1814.
Wines, wines, everywhere there are wines — about 8,000 of them.
There’s 3,000 varieties of distilled spirits and 2,500 beers, too.
That’s the typical selection at Total Wine & More, the package superstore that’s about to make its Albuquerque debut.
Total Wine’s first Duke City location — which measures more than 21,000 square feet — is set to open Feb. 20 on the West Side. It is moving into the old Border’s store at 10420 Coors Bypass NW.
A second store will open this summer in the former Morgan Stanley office site on Uptown Boulevard, according Edward Cooper, vice president of public affairs and community relations for the Potomac, Md.-based company.
The two local stores are among about 10 the company plans to open this year, he added.
“We’ve been very eager to come to Albuquerque for some time, and we certainly see (it) as a metropolitan area that can support two of our stores, even the big-box kind of superstore we are,” he said.
Aficionados may relish the idea of browsing more than 20,000 square feet worth of bottles, but Cooper said there are always well-informed sales associates on hand to make the process less daunting for everyone else. The average Total Wine store staffs more than 40 people, and employees go through frequent trainings and tastings to make sure they’re familiar with the products on the shelves.
“They’ll be able to help you find what your taste profile is and what you’re likely to like,” Cooper said.
Total Wine & More carries products from around the country and the world, but will also make an effort to showcase and carry New Mexico-based brands in its Albuquerque stores, Cooper said.
Each store also has a classroom and tasting bar, so customers can take classes like “Beer 101” or learn more about specific wine-producing regions around the world.
Art for everybody
In the market for a bronze sculpture? What about an abstract oil painting? A glass-beaded bracelet?
You can find all of that inside one of the city’s newer galleries, The Gallery ABQ.
Located in Hoffmantown Shopping Center, The Gallery ABQ is co-owned by its member artists. Right now that’s 27 people, a diverse assemblage that includes photographers, painters, potters, sculptors, jewelry designers and more. All of the members live in New Mexico — mostly Albuquerque — and each had to be juried in, according to director Tim Gifford.
Their works fill the gallery’s long-and-lean, 2,200-square-foot space.
“The layout is just so perfect,” said Jean Porter, one of the gallery’s original members. “Lots of wall space.”
Customers are encouraged to meander the store’s length, a walk that will lead them past scenic pastels, vivid watercolors, functional pottery and even a few jewelry cases.
“There’s just a little bit of everything for everybody,” Gifford said.
The layout changes every three months, and owners are working on creating a “salon” in the back of the gallery, giving non-members a chance to have their own small shows.
The Gallery ABQ is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
It’s located at 8210 Menaul NE, near the Menaul and Wyoming intersection. The phone number is 292-9333.
Ned’s gone but not lost?
As I recently reported on my blog, Ned’s on the Rio Grande closed in late January, something Ken Gattas attributes to an expiring lease at its North Valley location.
But Gattas said he’s hopeful that the bar and grill — which has origins dating back decades — will re-emerge at some point.
“Right now I’m pretty sure (it will reopen elsewhere),” he said.
You can read more about Ned’s and other retail news on my blog at abqjournal.com.
If you have any retail news to share, feel free to contact me at 823-3864 or firstname.lastname@example.org.<br>