Lawrenceville barbershop grooms its customers for comfort
It's called a Sweeney Todd — a hot-lather, straight-razor shave.
It's a service Michael Shurina can perform with the precision of a surgeon.
Mister Grooming & Goods in Lawrenceville, an old-school barbershop and salon, is geared toward giving men a place of their own for everything from a haircut to manicure to waxing services. Shurina, 35, and wife, Heather, 28, opened the place along Butler Street a month ago.
“This is a really nice place,” says client Mike Cope of the North Side. “It's great to have a barbershop like this that was created for guys. It's nice to know somebody is doing something like this.”
The Shurinas wanted to give men a manly experience in which they can feel comfortable getting services that they might not choose at a female-dominated salon. Women and children are welcome, too.
Services include the Classic Cut, which starts at $15. The Sweeney Todd is $30. A manicure called Man Hands is $20. A Wax On Wax Off for the back starts at $50. The Baby Face anti-aging facial is $45.
While customers wait, they can peruse magazines such as GQ, Motor Trend and Esquire. The television most likely will be showing a sporting event, and music such as tunes from the Beastie Boys will be playing in the background.
“We wanted something different,” Shurina says. “We were sitting on the beach on our honeymoon discussing what we should do, and we came up with the idea of opening an old-school barbershop-salon.”
The couple, who recently married and live in New Kensington, decided on Lawrenceville as a trendy, up-and-coming neighborhood. He is originally from West Deer and she from Oakmont.
They have regular hours, but aren't opposed to making exceptions to accommodate a client. They take walk-ins, but suggest scheduling a time.
“It might be intimidating for some guys when it comes to going to a woman's salon for services such as waxing and manicures and pedicures,” Heather Shurina says. “But this will be a way for them to experience man-pampering. Men like to be pampered, too.”
Salons like this are a growing trend, as is the rising sales of men's grooming products, says Sandra Nygaard, fashion and grooming director for Men's Health magazine.
“These types of places are very trendy and very cool,” she says. “It's different from the barbershops where the guy cutting your hair was as old as your grandpa. The vibe has entirely changed.”
Nygaard points out that grooming has become an important part of a man's healthy lifestyle.
“It is not just about looking good in terms of what they wear and feeling good in terms of what they eat,” she says. “It is about taking care of their skin and their hair and their nails.
“And the fact they have a special safe place to do this will make a guy feel less self-conscious about asking questions or having some of the services performed. If it's a dude's grooming man cave, they most likely will feel more comfortable there,” Nygaard says.
“I am sure women appreciate men who have clean hands,” says Josh McCann of Plum who was getting a manicure from cosmetologist Ali Lorenzini. “There is good conversation, and I think it's great to have a place like this for men. I have also gotten my hair cut here. This is great for Pittsburgh.”
It was the right move for the Shurinas.
“We want people to come in and stay for a while,” Heather Shurina says. “We want them to hang out, have a drink, watch their favorite sports team.
Michael Shurina enjoys teaching guys about caring for their hair and will recommend products, which they sell at the shop.
A popular name is Suavecito, which has hair and shaving products and other merchandise. Mister Grooming & Goods carries hoodies that are $45, thermals for $36 and T-shirts for $24. You will find them hanging from ladders, just one of the many interesting decorations inside the shop, including animals and an eye chart. Artwork was created by local photographer Jayson Cassidy and is available for sale. Every few months, another artist will be featured.
The couple plans to host bachelor parties and have done some groomsmen events.
“This is a fun place for guys,” Lorenzini says. “They can ask us questions about anything. It's such a laid-back environment, and it's fun just to talk with the guys and just hang out.”
Wayne Chatfield of Lawrenceville, waiting for a haircut, agrees.
“It is a wonderful addition to this area and complements all the other businesses here,” Chatfield says. “I am happy it's a guy-oriented place.”
Mister Grooming & Goods, 4504 Butler St., Lawrence-ville. Hours: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays; 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Fridays; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays; 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sundays. Details: 412-326-5964 or www.mistergroomingandgoods.com
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-320-7889.