Los Angeles’ retro-chic Beauty Bar caters to your unwinding needs in more ways than one: Not only can you relax while getting a manicure, you can have a cocktail, too.
HAPPY HOUR ANYONE?: Beauty Bar has solved the age-old problem of deciding whether to go for drinks after work or go get that much needed manicure. the trio of bars run by Paul Devitt—in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles—allow you to have you nails treated and be pampered while sipping on cocktails, all for $10 during the bar’s famous happy hour.
Mixing the two most common settings for women to gossip: the beauty salon and the bar, Beauty Bar is the perfect place to relax, catch up on gossip, and most importantly, be pampered.
From the outside, the Los Angeles Beauty Bar looks like a salon straight out of the ’60s. The small-paned glass windows next to the slender front door house gold-plated, long-handled mirrors and combs. In fact, there’s no sign of a bar anywhere from the outside. As you enter the front door, you realize this is no ordinary cocktail lounge. The main sitting room is decked out with manicure stations, hair dryers, antique perfume bottles, and a winding bar top adorned with Italian mosaic tiles from the ’60s. The pink glitter walls are decorated with product lons who work the bar’s happy hour for some variety and extra cash. because of California and New York liquor laws, the bars are not allowed to house cutting implements, so services are kept simple.
Drinks have names like Prell (a grasshopper), blue Rinse (a concoction with blue curacao), and Miss Calirol (a Bloody Mary), and instead of business cards, the bar’s name and address are printed on nail files and pocket combs.
Adding to Beauty Bar’s unique atmosphere are the Djs who serve up Latin, Brazilian, soul, funk, and eclectic tunes on Thursday through Saturday nights. When the Djs aren’t in service, sound of ’50s and ’60s tunes from likes of Dionne Warwick and The Platters play from the bar’s record player.
RIGHT IN THE THICK OF IT ALL
Since opening last February, Beauty Bar has been packed almost every night. Centrally located in the heart of Hollywood, its surrounding neighbors are hot spots like the Sunset Room, Catalina Bar & Grill, Daddy’s, and the Burgundy Room. “It gets so crowded in here that most of the time, I’ll stay to do manicures until 2 a.m.,” says Cohen. Reservations can be made for groups of six or more.
Although Beauty Bar attracts the likes of celebrities such as Christina Ricci and Rose McGowan—who stop by to hand out in the VIP room in back—it isn’t an exclusive place by any means. “I think it’s unique enough atmosphere. A lot of bars, especially in New York and L.A., are based on who’s there and what celebrities go there. But it’s not about that. People come here because of the place, not the people,” says Devitt.
With the success of all three bars, Devitt is looking into expanding even further. His next venture may take him to the latest scene to be seen. Miami’s South Beach, and possibly even internationally.
“I’ve thought about opening some locations overseas, maybe London or Tokyo,” says Devitt. “I think I’ve got one or two more left in me. There seems to be an interest in it everywhere we go.”