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Blacksmith Parlour

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Steven Zacharuk spent his evenings in the garage working on cars, switching gears to an office setting in the engineering sector by day. The transition wasn’t always seamless – sometimes evidenced in the dirt amassed beneath his fingernails.

There are only so many ways to return your hands to a presentable state, one being a professional nail treatment.

“I’ve heard from a lot of guys that they go to women-oriented nail salons, and they feel really uncomfortable,” says Steven Zacharuk, owner of Blacksmith Parlour, at 289 Garry Street.

“I thought there was a great opportunity for a place where men can go that feels like a man cave… so you can just sit back, have a glass of scotch, watch the game and get your services done.”

A first of its kind anywhere in Canada, Blacksmith Parlour challenges some of the typical salon customs by offering a dimly lit, speakeasy-type atmosphere where men can plug into personal televisions, tune out, and get their hands or feet tidied up by an esthetician.

While women are fully welcome at Blacksmith, the usual charade of coloured polish isn’t offered at Blacksmith, as a clear, nondescript finish is favoured.

Blacksmith has also recently rolled out hair removal services including eyebrow, chest, back, and arm and leg hair treatments.

Though many salons feature male-oriented services or packages, Zacharuk saw a niche for a salon that was intently directed at men.

Choosing the downtown location for its high concentration of office workers, Zacharuk was surprised to find the crowd he thought Blacksmith would speak to only makes up a small fraction of his customers.

“Our demographic that actually come in is everything from students to seniors, and construction workers to doctors,” he says.

As a result, Blacksmith has had a busier start than anticipated – indicating a wider appeal to the male-driven salon.

A secondary benefit to the shop’s existence is it’s now much easier to find a gift for the man who has everything.

“Gift cards have been huge,” says Zacharuk. “Most guys are so hard to buy for.”

Starting with snappy 30-minute treatments, and hand and foot scrubs with ingredients like beer, whiskey and pine, Blacksmith cleverly informalizes its treatments, removing any resistance to a spa experience.

Plus, a free alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage is included with each service – and you can totally order from the top shelf.

For more information on Blacksmith Parlour and its services, or to book an appointment, visit www.blacksmithparlour.com.