Hammer & Nails, a nail salon for men, opened Friday in Westerville, offering grooming with a masculine bent. Customers can drink bourbon, smoke cigars and watch sports while they get a haircut or a manicure.
Hammer & Nails on Polaris Parkway in Westerville offers something uncommon among barber shops that cater to men.
“It’s a spot where guys can feel comfortable getting manicures and pedicures,” owner Nick Bertagna said.
Customers are offered bourbon, beer and cigars, and can listen to music on noise-canceling headphones or watch television on flat screen TVs. It’s not new for certain hair and nail salons to let customers buy adult beverages while they get their hair or nails done, but those businesses largely cater to women, Bertagna said.
“There’s no place for a guy like that,” he said.
Hammer & Nails accepts walk-ins, but customers can become members for a flat rate of $64 a month. A membership includes two complimentary services such as shaves or manicures, along with discounts and complimentary drinks. For nonmembers, services range from $40 to $120.
Bertagna, of Westerville, said he decided to bring the California-based franchise to central Ohio to serve an untapped market.
Rob Kuhn, 41, of Westerville, became a Hammer & Nails member because he wanted to get his nails done outside a traditional salon.
“It just felt weird going into (a salon),” he said. “I like smoking cigars and drinking whiskey, and this combined it all.”
Member Colby Zachrich, 36, of Galena, said he also won’t patronize traditional salons. “But in this place, you can watch a game, get your hair cut or get a shave.”
“I’ve never been one to have manicures or pedicures, but they’ve got a great room and it makes it feel comfortable,” he added. “You’re still able to feel like a man while you’re getting your nails done.”
Hammer & Nails has 14 locations in California, Texas, Florida and Oregon. The Westerville location is the first in the Midwest.
While a disclaimer on the company’s website says that its services are available to anyone, it’s clear that Hammer & Nails is geared toward men.
A back room for manicures and pedicures includes big-screen TVs, most of which are tuned to sports channels, along with a minibar stocked with top shelf bourbon and an enormous painting of Ohio Stadium.
“Guys are moving toward that pampering,” Bertagna said. “It’s becoming cool and it’s becoming OK for guys to do something like this.”
Bertagna said he took the plunge and bought the franchise before even visiting a Hammer & Nails because he believed in the concept.
“I thought it was so unique that I invested,” he said.
His first trip to a Hammer & Nails was in Folsom, California, near Sacramento.
“They gave me a beer, and I got a pedicure,” he said. “It was great.“
Some men might be hesitant at first, Bertagna said, but he’s confident that once they try it, they’ll love it.