PORTSMOUTH, New Hampshire — A former high school teacher, Peter Fisher has turned a Route 1 storefront, in a bowling alley strip mall, into a hip, grooming pit stop for men.
Named Station, the “body shop for guys” is designed with testosterone touches like vintage baseball gloves, tool boxes and barber chairs, to be a manscaping mecca.
“I tried to go hyper masculine,” said Fisher, a decades-long Portsmouth resident, now living in Kittery, Maine.
Fisher said women have long held reign over the salon-services market and Station is his vision for men, though, he said, women are welcome.
“It’s our turn,” he said. “We serve beer, not wine.”
Fisher has spent the past seven months transforming a space that was carpeted and painted white, into an industrial, manly retreat with a roadside gas station vibe. The male-centric salon offers massages, barber services, skin and nail care, shoe shines and body waxing.
Combination packages include the “date night special,” that includes grooming from the neck up, while the customer’s car is detailed behind the shop. There’s a “contractor’s relief” package that includes a massage and “hand detail.” Beard conditioning, “undercarriage” waxing and hot lather shaves are also offered.
The Station’s interior design is a result of Fisher’s trips to flea markets and second-hand stores, as well as late nights digging into his own tool box. He made the front service desk from corrugated metal window wells and wood trim he soaked in his bathtub so it would bent around the metal curves. Fisher made a side table from a pair of worn car ramps he’s displayed near vintage lockers, from an Ohio high school, that hold the Johnny B line of men’s grooming products.
“My plumber said ‘You need moose antlers’,” Fisher said.
So the plumber provided a pair of moose antlers he found during a snowmobiling trip in northern Maine. Those are displayed near a custom, New Hampshire-made gaming console by Retro Gaming Now, worn foot lockers that serve as coffee tables and leather club chairs. Vintage oil cans, diamond plate metal, graffiti-painted walls and a lamp made from stacked baseballs add to the man-cave ambiance.
Fisher uses a worn leather tool belt to hold the Station menus of services that includes the Station’s barber shop, where barber “Big Mike” Glidden is proficient with straight razors and hot towels. In the “paint shop” men can get their hair colored, near a booth for two where manicures and pedicures are offered.
J. Hilburn men’s clothier has leased a space in Station where men can order custom-tailored clothing.
Fisher said men age 29 to 49 will seek Station’s services. For men 50 and older, he said, they’ll feel right at home in the barber shop and while there, may get talked into having ear and nose hair removed. The first Tuesdays of every month, Fisher said, all veterans are invited for free haircuts.
A 30-year Portsmouth hairstylist, Craig Dubay is renting a Station stylist booth. He called the design “amazing” and said Fisher “really had to grunge it up” to give the space its masculine panache.
Station is at 599 Lafayette Road, between Port City Coin and the MacEdge store.
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