Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Will Barber Bistro "Cut it" in Atlanta?

A new dining experience is coming to Cobb County

Barber Bistro Fine Grooming & Dining is opening "soon" on Cobb Parkway in Marietta.  The new combination hair salon and restaurant will open in Chicago Plaza, a small strip center just south of Dobbins Air Reserve Base.  

Barber Bistro will be situated between existing locations of Subway and MetroPCS. 

Based on social media postings, the business seems to have been in the works since at least last January.  Research indicates that a similarly named business previously operated in Memphis, Tennessee.   A man named Rock Dillon appears to be the operator of both the former Memphis location and the upcoming Atlanta location.  A facebook account linked to the Atlanta business seemed to suggest that as of November 17th, 2014, the opening was slated for January 10, 2015.  

An update posted recently indicates that the opening is now scheduled for June 27th.  

Permits posted on the windows at the business indicate that they were filed July 23, 2014.  I called the City of Marietta to verify the status of the permits, and apparently new inspections were completed this past February 17th and 18th. Interestingly, to comply with building code, the business is separated into two suites, the barber shop in "300," and the bistro in "350."  Building code apparently prohibits a hair salon and a restaurant from operating out of a single space, go figure.  Despite the code requirement and the "two inspections," there seemed to be just one primary door, a single "business name," and a single suite identified: 300.  

Another social media post seemed to explain the separation of the two businesses: 

"Hair & Food Dont Mix @barberbistro, Glass Circle Windows To Seperated the Shop & Restaurant......Atlanta Hair Industry Will Never Be The Same!"

Photo from 2/16/14 as seen on Instagram via @BarberBistroATL
The limited facebook previously indicated the establishment was a "Family Style Restaurant," but was updated this week to refer to it as a "Barber Shop Restaurant."  Additionally, hookah, a type of flavored tobacco popular in the middle east, will be offered to patrons after 7PM.  

Strangely, the pictures on the business's Instagram account (which has nearly 7,000 followers) are a mix of stock photos of other restaurants like Bistro Niko, and assorted glamour shots of haircuts.  

A new post complete with a new logo claim that Barber Bistro is "The 1st barber shop & restaurant in the U.S."  While a strange idea combining a barber shop and bistro, it would seem that Rock Dillon is not the first to open such a business. Aside from the obvious, (counting their prior location in Memphis,) this would be the second such establishment in the U.S.  A quick internet search, however, shows that at least one other similar business, Scottsdale, Arizona-based "minibar.ber.shop," previously operated a handful of locations, all of which seem to have closed.  

I visited the business last week and observed a work site seemingly weeks from completion.

A glimpse inside the still very under construction Barber Bistro  
What are your thoughts on the odds of success for this new business? Does the idea of a combined barber shop and restaurant appeal to you?  If it stays open long enough, do you think Barber Bistro will attract baseball players from nearby SunTrust Park?

Please share your thoughts below. 


Anonymous said...

who the hell wants to eat at the same place they or others get a haircut.

Anonymous said...

Add this one to Death Watch.

Food Network's "Restaurant Impossible" did a show on this very concept in Louisiana. NASTY!

Maybe someone can open up an OB-GYN/some food concept?

AJ said...

Excuse me waiter, but there are about 800 small pieces of hair in my soup.

Anonymous said...

I'd "lather" not comment on this thread. However, the "condition(er)" of the restaurant is obviously not quite ready, but with a little more "styling" it might make the "cut"?
What I find to be "un-beweavable" is that there might be someone who thinks they can become the next "million-hair" by opening this type of concept.
Ok, I'm done.....

Anonymous said...

Just because you can open up something like this doesn't mean you should.

Anonymous said...

I can see where this concept originated from. In the black community, the barber shop is the community water cooler where people come to get the latest gossip. For that particular community, it's more than just haircuts - it's like a community living room.

But I don't see this succeeding outside of that community.

Anonymous said...

So weird... and their instagram seems kind of deceitful--they're posting stock photos of food with descriptions that are trying to pass it off as theirs.

Anonymous said...

MAYBE. If the food is good and quick; if the stylists/barbers are good and quick; if the prices are reasonable; if they completely separate food from hair areas.

Anonymous said...

this idea is like an snl skit. I'd be more interested in a restaurant+tax preparation office. It'd be mobbed for around 6-8 weeks per year for sure.


Anonymous said...

Let's see they have hair cutting, pizza and hooka. Where is the section offering frozen yogurt and cupcakes?

Grant Goggans said...

This concept instantly reminded me of Jones Good Ass BBQ and Foot Massage.


Anonymous said...

Yes- the barbershop may be a staple in the Black community, but that doesn't mean they will eat at the babershop... Nobody wants hair in their food- regardless of their origin/community. Goid luck to this business, but it is definitely a hard concept to sell. They may end up only cutting hair or only selling food- but not both.

john hozy said...

It is an informative post.

J.r Morton said...

seeing a bunch of idiots posting comments...clearly he barbers are not the ones doing the cooking. Plus everyone knows a good barber spends 45min-1hr on a head. So for people that are waiting they can grab a bite to eat while waiting and if the barbers are good at cutting and reasonably priced this business can do good. I guess ppl are assuming the barbers are cooking food at their booth while awaiting to cut a clients head.