John Allan is the quintessential New York guy. He has the clothes, the accent—not to mention four members-only men's salons in Manhattan. So why has the male grooming pioneer opened a club in Chicago? "I like what Chicago represents," he explains. "You get rooted here, you get to meet people and you definitely get hugged a bit."
The new 5,000-square-foot space—the first John Allan's location outside of New York City—is set in a penthouse in Chicago's financial district and features a 1,300-square-foot open terrace overlooking downtown Chicago. Much like his other outposts, the salon comes complete with a bar, pool table, two flat-screen TVs, and a shoe shine and repair service. It also offers the signature Full Service package, which includes a scalp-massaging shampoo, conditioning treatment, hot towel wrap, haircut, manicure and shoe shine. The club has two treatment rooms for massages, pedicures and facial treatments, along with a retail area featuring the comprehensive line of John Allan grooming products.
Like all of his locations, John Allan's Chicago is based on memberships and referrals, creating a very close-knit community. "I want to be there when you get that promotion or when your girlfriend breaks up with you," John Allan says. "I want to be there all along the way."
Although the salon is just a few months old, John Allan can already tell that there aren't many differences between his members in Chicago and New York. "They're guys," he says. "Men have a very strong common denominator as a species. I don't care what ethnicity or sexual orientation they are or where they're from—I treat 'em all like guys." —R.A.