Haircuts, massages, and beer: The Men's Chair opens in Pleasant Ridge

Nearly 750 miles separate Detroit from Birmingham, Alabama, and Allison Drake travels it every two weeks.

It’s the sort of dedication found in the most motivated of entrepreneurs. In this case, it’s Drake, owner of two barber shops in two different places. 

A native of Jackson, Michigan, Drake moved to Birmingham roughly five years ago and opened The Men’s Chair in 2015. The full-service barber shop soon took off, and Drake was able to hire employees and grow the business.

Despite her success in Alabama, Drake’s goal was always to get back to Michigan. “It’s my home and my heart,” she says.

She recently celebrated the grand opening of her second location and this one in her home state. The Men’s Chair celebrated its grand opening on Woodward Avenue in Pleasant Ridge this Tuesday, April 17.

Drake’s philosophy is to create a smaller, more intimate experience than your average chain barber shop. She aims to create a quality experience for each customer, with more emphasis on conversation than the number of televisions on the wall. Customers might expect a can of beer during their visit, too.

The Men’s Chair is catering to the "modern professional man," though all are welcome, says Drake. She doesn’t like to use the word pamper, but customers can expect deep neck and shoulder massages when ordering a straight razor neck shave, or a hand massage when ordering a manicure.

Drake hopes her second The Men's Chair is the first of many additional locations. But despite the busyness of running her own company, don’t expect Drake to put down the scissors any time soon.

"I love people. I love barbering. I love seeing the transformation in people, from when they walk into when they leave," says Drake. "I feel like that’s part of the reason I was put on this earth, to have that impact on people, on the daily."

The Men’s Chair is located at 23908 Woodward Ave. in Pleasant Ridge.

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.