KIPS BAY — It’s a hair salon, a coffee bar, and a studio for artists and photographers — all in one.
Bristle + Cream, a new two-story, upscale hair salon soft-opening on Third Avenue Thursday, aims to beat local competition by launching an in-house espresso bar and a multi-use space for artists this fall.
“Most of my friends are in fashion or hospitality, and I wanted to include all of these influences,” said Kim Vu, the salon’s owner. “When I see most salons, I find it to be a bit confining and not approachable.
"The idea of the mixed space…changes how a client feels in the space. We want to create a cool, mellow vibe, while providing superior service.”
Instead of a receptionist, guests will be greeted by a barista from the espresso bar at the front of the shop, said Vu, 32. The bar will also serve artisanal coffee and pastries. The coffee station will be open to the public and is not exclusive to salon patrons, she added.
“We have a huge dining room table at the center of the floor,” Vu said. “The [salon] clients and customers of the espresso bar are welcome to hang out there. It’s a very communal feel.”
The boutique spa is located on the second floor, with private rooms and a balcony that overlooks the hair salon below. The 1,400-square-foot space, located on Third Avenue near East 29th Street, has ceilings that reach up to 18 feet tall, Vu said.
The salon will celebrate a soft launch with a private concert event on June 13, and will begin accepting clients by appointment only on June 15. The official grand opening to the public, with the finished espresso bar, will happen in September.
After the full launch, a core group of hairstylists will be available, but the salon will also offer a program called Atelier for freelance stylists who want to use the space to prepare for photo shoots, Vu said.
“In the hair industry, you can either be in editorial and fashion or work in a salon,” Vu said. “We’re going to have a program that brings the two together.”
In addition, Vu said she plans to invite artists, photographers and performers to use the space to either show their work, or to use it as a studio for their shoots. Although there isn't a blocked-off space for studio work, the salon space can be converted to accommodate artists, Vu said.
“Our company is interested in art and fashion,” she said. “It’s not a salon, it’s not an espresso bar — it’s just a very cool environment.”
Bristle + Creme is located at 416 Third Ave. The price for haircuts starts at $75 for women and $40 for men. Prices for chemical treatments, such as highlights, range from $95 to $175.