At its most basic, personal grooming is routine maintenance, more a task than an indulgence. Only with charming flourishes—an atmospheric salon, attentive estheticians—does the process of threading one’s eyebrows become a sybaritic experience. Distilled Beauty Bar Social House aims to provide a previously unavailable variety of pampering to Calgarians. Located in the Marda Loop neighbourhood, the space is at once a café and full-service salon, welcoming visitors for a light meal and a latte, a pedicure and a blowout, or all of the above.
“In Europe you can get your nails done while having your coffee, and even in Toronto I’d seen neat, funky little nail bars that are sort of homey and everyone’s very social,” says founder Lisa Maric, an oil industry veteran for whom running a community-oriented salon always was a dream project. “It seemed to me that we had spas here in Calgary that did amazing things—you’d go in and disappear into the back and it was super quiet—but we didn’t really have anything that was designed to be fun, like you come here, your cell phone is on, there’s music…” Indeed, popular with brides-to-be and birthday girls, Distilled’s atmosphere can transition from relaxed to festive to suit clients’ needs.
Designed by interior designer Nam Dang-Mitchell, Distilled is a sleek but not precious oasis of blue and white Italian concrete tile and marble with large windows and sliding doors. Up front, the café serves local products like Rosso Coffee (one of Maric’s sons is a barista, the other oversees the food service), Drizzle honey, Valbella charcuterie, and treats from Pretty Sweet bakery (who can make custom macarons and cupcakes for parties at the spa). In the back, lines of chairs allow for dry pedicures (more hygienic, notes Maric) and manicures, while further in are spaces for hair styling, waxing, and eyelash extensions. Guests may also sip wine and cocktails during their treatments.
A drink, a bite, and treatment in a lovely space—a visit to Distilled is an indulgence indeed.
Distilled Beauty Bar + Social House, 2408 34 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2T 2C8
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