“There aren’t a lot of places around where men can relax and be themselves,” Rebecca Kloster explained as she put a hot towel over my face. “I feel like guys need relaxation.”
Whisky Jack’s Salon for Men is one of those rare places where you can feel totally masculine while contemplating a facial, or a wax (I’ll tell you about that later,) or while you’re having something massaged into your scalp. It’s also the only place I’ve ever been to that makes getting a haircut something to look forward to.
“Men’s salons are definitely more fun,” Kloster the owner and mastermind behind Whisky Jack’s enthused. “It’s fun, it’s cool, and it’s a laid-back place where people get to enjoy their time.”
Everything about Whisky Jack’s fascinates and appeals to me. I bombarded Kloster with questions throughout my visit, some insightful, some not so much.
“What is this soapy stuff you’re rubbing into my hair?” I caught myself asking.
“Um, it’s shampoo.” She answered without missing a beat. We both busted out laughing.
“I think I want my nose waxed.” I ventured.
She put hot wax on a little popsicle stick then up it went into my nose! She waited a few moments until it was dry and asked, “Are you ready for this?”
I was…and it didn’t hurt.
“Take a picture of that for your Facebook page,” she laughed as she held the popsicle stick before me so I could see how, uh, productive the process was.
Okay, instead of picturing that in your minds, let me talk about how clean and manly the whole place smells. I have chemical sensitivities, so every other hair cut place I have ever been to has left me with a migraine from the miasma of chemical smells that polluted the air. But at Whisky Jack’s there is no hair spray haze or paraben pollution to choke your lungs and burn your eyes.
“Our hairspray is made with rose water,” Kloster said. “You can actually spray it on your skin and face and it’s anti-aging!”
All the products she sells are her own creation and are healthy and organic. One of the dominant scents is rich tobacco.
“What is it about tobacco that makes it such an appealing smell?” I inhaled deeply.
“That’s the smell of Cuban cigars,” Kloster opened a bottle and held it our for me to smell.
“It’s nostalgic,” one of her stylists, Rebecca Boise, pointed out. “It’s not something people encounter anymore, but how many people’s grandfathers smoked pipes?”
“My grandfather rolled his own cigarettes,” my partner Jim recalled.
“I want to try one of your cigars,” I gestured to the large humidor in the corner.
Whisky Jack’s has a smoking igloo out in front of its location in the Big Apple Plaza (8469 Seneca Turnpike, Suite 107, New Hartford, NY 13413.) They also have a jukebox, a pool table, a dartboard, a selfie station, and all the cool black leather décor and furniture you can imagine. The vibe is fun and friendly, it feels like an especially well-equipped “man cave” where men can also get their hair cut. It even boasts a special edition Red Bull Pac Man machine in the corner.
Everyone I’ve ever seen at Whisky Jack’s has clearly been having a good time. It’s a place that draws suburban dads with their sons, leather-clad bikers, millennials with carefully cultivated beards, aging baby boomers, and my fellow Gen X’ers who appreciate a jukebox that plays songs from Asia and Journey.
Her website, WhiskyJacksSalonForMen.com describes it offering a “unique experience for men and boys to help them look and feel better and gain confidence in their overall appearance-while sharing laughs and creating memories.”
Rebecca Kloster hosts live musical events, men’s fashion shows, and several other happenings in her salon. Her social media page at Facebook.com/WhiskyJacksSalonForMen lists a seemingly non-stop series of things coming up and explains how a great deal of what she does supports charities and non-profits. Whisky Jack’s strongly supports domestic violence organizations, and groups that provide services to children.
“Jack and coke, gentleman’s brew, sweet tea smash,” I read down the list of services. “How do you come up with these clever names?”
“We’re getting ready for our liquor license.” She answered.
Soon we’ll be able to drink whiskey at Whisky Jack’s. There’s no end to the ways she makes getting a haircut a fun experience.
“I worked for a corporation for 17 years,” Kloster explains.
“I ran men salons for eight years, but the corporate world became all about money instead of people.”
“I’ve never been to a place like this,” my partner Jim Hale added. “I knew after my first time here that I would never go to any place else. There’s no place around here like this.”
Kloster grew up with three older brothers and has a son, I think that explains why she has such a brilliant grasp on how to create comfortable environments for men.
“I’m kind of a guy and a girl,” she laughs. “We are dedicated to helping men look and feel better and gain confidence. Never underestimate what a pair of scissors, a razor, and a quality professional grooming product can do in the right hands.”
Seriously don’t underestimate what Whisky Jack’s can do for you. Call 315-507-2669 and make your appointment today. While you’re there maybe I’ll join you in the smoking igloo. I had so much fun at my last haircut I never got around to lighting up those cigars.
Ron Klopfanstein welcomes your comments, question, and story idea. Like him at Facebook.com/BeMoreWestmo and follow him at Twitter.com/BeMoreWestmo.