The light catches on a lineup of more than 65 bottles of gin, Billie Holiday croons in the background, and leather tufted chairs beckon those in need of a little pampering.

If that does not sound like your traditional beauty salon, that is intentional. Brooklyn Beauty Bar owner Brooke Jesberg does not just want to give you luxury: she wants to give you a destination.

With two locations, in Fortitude Valley and at Petrie Terrace, Brooklyn Beauty Bar may only be four years old, but Brisbane native Brooke brings more than 17 years experience as a beauty therapist. Those 17 years were spent listening to clients and discovering what they really sought in a salon experience. The end result? A beauty salon-meets-bar in an old school-style venue that channels the 1940s, through the décor, the music and the drinks. Perhaps more evocatively, it is like a portal back to post-Prohibition New York, where the gin is as smooth as the jazz and the beauty services will give you some much-deserved me-time.

“With Brooklyn, we’ve brought a bit of heritage and jazz. We’ve brought gin to the ladies.

There’s nothing better than sipping on a glass of something while getting pampered,” said Brooke.

No matter your tastes, there is a glass on hand to satisfy almost everyone. At Brooklyn, you will find bartenders who will make gin and tonics four different ways, or if you are looking for something a little more adventurous, five different gin-based cocktails. Not a gin drinker? The champagne bar might be more your style, with popular favourites like Moët & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, and Louis Roederer available to accompany your spa service. However, Brooke would steer you towards the 1949, a warming cocktail with Tanqueray, sloe gin, Pomme Verte, and a dash of bitters. In fact, she nudges many people in that direction, including men who forego the spa but come for the libations. “To be able to bring a bar into a mani-pedi bar — that’s where we differ. We’re ahead of the game, and we’re quite proud of that,” said Brooke.

Fusing liquor with luxury is not the only arena where Brooke and her team carve out a space for themselves: they are also not targeting the usual crowd who visit day spas.

Though the services might be indulgent, they err on the side of being, as Brooke puts it, “in and out”.

“We’re looking for busy, cosmopolitan women because time is limited. Women of today’s age, they’re paying a mortgage, they’re working full-time, they don’t have time for day spas. They want the day spa effect in limited time,” said Brooke.

So that is what she provides, offering a nearly limitless choice of movies for those getting pedicures or quick brow services so luxury and fast service do not have to be mutually exclusive. Clearly, she is onto something: she now has her sights set on expanding to Sydney, but while the number of storefronts might change, the core concept will not.

“What completes me-time is a glass of something while getting pampered. My ideal treatment would be getting a pedicure while sipping a gin-based cocktail watching my favourite flick on the TV. There’s nothing better than a foot rub,” said Brooke.

 

 

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