Test Drive: Grooming Lounge
Buckhead's men's lounge is sleek but not unique
Sure, it’s masculine. There are tall shelves of grooming products, and the walls and floors are dark wood. There’s a sleek leather chair in the corner where you can get your shoes shined. There are plenty of magazines, in case you’re one of the dwindling number of American men who read to pass the time—Fortune, GQ, The Economist, Maxim (probably doesn’t count), and a bunch of sports rags in a room with couches and a plasma TV. They have Muzak and burly cans of shaving gel. You can get a shot of bourbon if you want one. In the event you second-guess yourself—you’re walking toward one of the back rooms with the comfy, elevated beds and the steam machines and you’re thinking a spa treatment isn’t completely manly—you will pass reassuring framed pictures of the Fonz and Steve McQueen and (curiously) golfer Bobby Jones.
I recently received the Cleansing Face Treatment at the Grooming Lounge, a men’s spa on the bottom floor of Terminus, a new skyscraper that’s a progeny of all that infuriating construction in Buckhead. Though a pleasant and laid-back environ, it offered nothing much different from the other three Atlanta men’s spas I’ve been to. They all must adhere to the writ-in-stone list of the five things that make men feel like men—you know, liquor, dark floors, shoe-shine chairs, the color black, and old-time barber’s razors.
Grooming Lounge services bear macho monikers such as “The Commander in Chief” (manicure and foot treatment), “The Second Term” (massage and facial), “The Congressman” (shave, massage, manicure, pedicure), “The Hill” (facial and massage), and “The Supreme Court” (pretty much everything)—but those were out of my budget, and I had to settle for something more small-town mayoral. For an hour, my pores were extracted. My face was massaged with a variety of cool and good-smelling creams. All that steam was nice, too. Afterward I was handed a suggested regimen of the spa’s official face-maintenance products, written on a white slip of paper like prescriptions for medicine. But I wasn’t man enough to buy any of them. Grooming Lounge, 3280 Peachtree Road, Suite 120, 404-467-7766, groominglounge.com