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Spa Snapshot: Gadabout Man
By Abby Penning
Posted: February 1, 2008, from the February 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
Sports games and news anchors flicker across multiple television screens. An attendant serves a customer a cold, locally brewed beer. Several men gather in the lounge to unwind and discuss the day’s events. Is this the type of place where you would expect a first-rate manicure, hot stone massage and tranquility oil-tinged shave? If you are at Gadabout Man, the answer is most definitely yes.
Gadabout Man, the exclusively male spa in Tucson, Arizona, features services such as facials, massage, manicures, pedicures and waxing, as well as haircuts and straight-edge shaves in an atmosphere closer to Cheers than Canyon Ranch—and the clients love it that way. Frank and Jana Westerbeke, vice presidents of Gadabout SalonSpas, describe their male clientele as extremely dedicated, saying, “They’re loyal not only to their technician, but to Gadabout Man and to their ‘space.’ ”
Located in a malecentric shopping and business area that includes a men’s clothing store, as well as a steakhouse and a personal training gym, Gadabout Man took the idea of an old-fashioned barbershop to the next level when it launched seven years ago. The brainchild of Frank Westerbeke, the spa integrated men’s grooming, skin care and treatments into a leather-chaired, deeply hued spa setting.
Catering to its businessman clientele by offering popular get-them-done-during-lunch services that combine options such as a haircut, manicure and shave nearly simultaneously in a single appointment, Gadabout Man also offers theopportunity for clients to spend an entire day at the spa. According to the Westerbekes, “We had to figure out a way to re-educate our already loyal customers while also encouraging new male clientele. We wanted to keep the place very simple and focus on the man’s desire: comfort.”
This theme allows the business to focus on treatments such as the 80-minute, deep work Extreme Massage and a straight-edge shave using warm shaving cream custom blended with aromatically soothing oil, giving clients time to unwind and de-stress. These types of offerings have helped get the word out about the facility, which is also starting to attract a more diverse clientele, including college students and retirees.
A locker room containing a steam shower, sauna and male grooming products that is connected to the personal training gym next door adds to the convenience of Gadabout Man, and its “Buzz and a Beer” program, offering clients a local brew to sip while they enjoy their services, also works to increase its appeal. And still the staff constantly strives to stay on the pulse of what’s hot in men’s grooming. “The journey is never over,” say the Westerbekes. “We will continue to educate our staff, clients and the community.”
Whether it is by providing longer hours for easy client scheduling or tweaking treatments to offer just the right atmosphere, Gadabout Man is always working to make men feel comfortable in their own space.
2951 N. Swan Road
Tucson, AZ 85712
Established: March 2001
Owners: Pam McNair-Wingate, Frank Westerbeke and Jana Westerbeke
Staff: General manager, technical leader, six estheticians, three body therapists, three nail technicians, nine hair technicians, two front desk personnel
Hours: Tuesday and Thursday, 8 AM–9 PM; Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 8 AM–6 PM