Salon Today 200

2018 Salons of the Year: Parker Barber

Stacey Soble | May 2, 2018 | 10:01 PM
Photo 1 of 9
Photo 2 of 9
Photo 3 of 9
Photo 4 of 9
Photo 5 of 9
Photo 6 of 9
Photo 7 of 9
Photo 8 of 9
Photo 9 of 9

First Runner-Up
Parker Barber
New Orleans, Louisiana
Owners: Garrison Neill and the Neill Corporation
Salon style: Classic, authentic, smart
Square footage: 511
Stations: 5
Equipment: Takara Belmont
Furniture: Custom
Total Design Investment: $125,000
Retail line: Aveda
Color line: Aveda
Design by: Tom Landry
Architects: William Sonner
Photographer: Hunter Holder

Situated beside the hip Ace Hotel in the Central Business District of New Orleans, the small but mighty 511-square-foot Parker Barber is an avant-garde interpretation of an old-school barbershop. Clients are greeted by smartly dressed barbers who start the service with a neat whiskey or a cold beer.

Subway tile, industrial sconces and tufted leather couches evoke the spirit of the past while ergonomic barber chairs, each with its own stainless backwash, provide the comfort and conveniences of modern day.
Design elements that pay homage to the shop’s Louisiana heritage include the reclaimed cypress shelving that the founder’s father, Edwin Neill II, bought years ago.

“The beams were stored in a warehouse,” Garrison Neill says. “It’s the kind of wood that when you see it, you buy it because you know how special it is and you know some day you’ll find its purpose. With a nod to the natural state, we designed the shelving to show its live edge.”

Neill also installed Louisiana cypress paneling as the backdrop to the shop and had it finished in the traditional Japanese way called Yakisugi—a torching that preserves the wood. The barbershop’s sole piece of art is a black-and-white photograph featuring a woman wearing nothing but a mask, cape and boots riding a carousel. It was acquired from an elder photographer who searched his archives for an image that suited the shop.
“We wanted something provocative but timeless, and this represents the last ride of a carousel in a New Orleans amusement park that was open from the 1920s to the 1980s,” Neill says.

Nestled between the Aveda product gallery and the Chesterfield leather couch rests a Yamaha motorcycle once owned by Neill’s grandfather, who was one of the first Yamaha dealers in the Midwest.

One unique design feature has nothing to do with aesthetics but with sound. Recognizing that communal conversation is part of the barbershop experience, Neill installed a specialty acoustical spray on the ceiling to eliminate echoes. The acoustics are so acclaimed, local musicians perform shows there after hours.

By eliminating the traditional front desk, the barbershop was able to reduce the overall square footage required to operate. The responsibility of checking clients in and out falls to the client’s personal barber who utilizes the SalonBiz app. Having a backwash, hot-towel cabinet and clean towel storage at each station further provides for optimal productivity.

“Although the small space wasn’t without its challenges, we’re ultimately grateful for the intimacy of it,” Neill says. “Because of the small footprint, our utility costs are low, enabling us to run an even tighter ship.”

More from Salon Today 200

Salon Today 200 The team from Local Honey in Greensboro, NC.
Salon Today 200

2017 Salon Today 200: Growth, Part Two

Stacey Soble | December 12, 2016

Meet the second half of our 2017 Salon Today 200 Growth Honorees. When a salon or spa masters a number of best business practices, it often fuels its growth. The resulting momentum, as well as the extra resources, often encourage the business and its team to continue to expand as they seek success.

Salon Today 200 The team from Tulip Salon & Spa in Fredericksburg, Virgina.
Salon Today 200

2017 Salon Today 200: Technology

Stacey Soble | December 10, 2016

Meet the 2017 Salon Today 200 Honorees in the category of Technology. In today's fast-paced world, technology plays a critical role in boosting a salon and spa to the next lever--from communicating with guests, measuring and motivating team members and keeping all systems running strong.

Salon Today 200 The team from The Circle Salon on retreat at the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago, IL.
Salon Today 200

2017 Salon Today 200: Salon Culture

December 9, 2016

Announcing the 2017 Honorees in the category of Salon Culture. Culture is that invisible, yet tangilbe, energy that binds and propels a team and attracts clients. A strong culture is hard to define and even more difficult to build. But when mastered, these salons are unstoppable.

Salon Today 200 When Ayla lost her hair during treatment for a rare form of leukemia, her sister and several members of her Brownie troop decided they wanted to donate hair to Wigs for Kids. The team at Impressions in Mequon, WI, made that happen, and here Ayla makes the first cut.
Salon Today 200

2017 Salon Today 200: Philanthropy

Stacey Soble | December 5, 2016

When salons and spas participate in community charities or organize their own philanthropic activity, they often are acting from the heart. But the goodwill generated from these activities serves as a powerful marketing tool and can propel both personal and professional growth. Here are our 2017 Salon Today 200 honorees in the category of Philanthropy.

Load More