Beauty Bar Moving Its Manicures and Martinis From Bushwick to Park Slope
BUSHWICK — A popular bar chain featuring manicure-and-martini deals and chairs topped with bubble-shaped hair dryers has struck out with the young spendthrifts of Bushwick — so it's taking its concept to a more well-heeled Brooklyn neighborhood.
Beauty Bar, which closed its offshoot at 921 Broadway in December after opening in 2009, will take its poppy soundtrack and salon-style surroundings to Park Slope in mid-February, its owner said.
"The area was not developing as fast as we had hoped," said Beauty Bar owner Paul Devitt. "A lot of kids in Bushwick are strapped financially. They drink at home, at parties."
The eight-city franchise, which began on the East Village's 14th Street back in 1995, will open at 249 Fifth Ave. in the more family-friendly environs of Park Slope.
"They'll be aging hipsters," Devitt said about the new clientele he anticipates. "They left Bushwick, they married their girlfriend or had a baby, but they still want to go out and be stimulated. They just have to get a babysitter."
If the Bushwick spot had been off the L train, he said, where development is more rapidly occurring, it might have had a better chance. But Devitt he also had trouble getting a liquor license there, since one of his investors had a tarnished past with another license.
"I've gone into a lot of neighborhoods that were in need of gentrification in the past," said Devitt, noting Beauty Bar's outpost in San Francisco's Mission District. "They improved, and Beauty Bar was in part a catalyst for that."
The Park Slope bar, former home of Ozzie's Coffee, has more reliable investors who already attained a license, he said. It's also located on a strip of Fifth Avenue that's rapidly growing, Devitt added.
"It's about where I can make the money," he admitted. "In the end of the day, it's about a business."
They do serve "hipsters," Devitt noted, but "that's a word that gets thrown around a lot — and what is it exactly?"
"Hipsters came before $15 drinks," he said. "We try to create what is like a local hangout in each city we have, whether it's driven by live music or DJs. It's more accessible."
The Park Slope location will be more like a lounge catering to residents in the area, he said.
Meanwhile, Bushwick's former Beauty Bar has held onto its regulars — and all its staff — in the new locally owned Broomie's NYC, which opened the day after Beauty Bar closed. It serves coffee starting at 6 a.m. and offers liquor after 6 p.m.
Broomie's owner Jeff Pan said they have had no trouble attracting customers, and that he has plans to redo the rainbow-painted interior that still makes it appear like Beauty Bar.
Brock Michael Napoli, a longtime Beauty Bar bartender who is now working at Broomie's, said he has only seen improvements since Broomie's swept into the space. They have a new sound system, projector and nightly events.
"We have people checking in on Foursquare as both Broomie's and Beauty Bar," he said about the transition. "People call it what they want."