After opening Blowtique in River North (1 E. Huron St.) two years ago, owner Fiona McEntee owner of has just announced plans to open a second location inside the Shops at North Bridge (520 N. Michigan Ave.) in early October.
Ten years ago, the concept of a wash-and-dry salon didn't exist in Chicago. In McEntee's native Ireland, though, they were everywhere. "There were a lot of people I knew at home that would never wash their own hair," she says. "You'd just go pop in and get it done once a week."
McEntee decided to take matters into her own hands and opened Blowtique in June of 2012. Technically, it wasn't the first Chicago had seen, but salons with similar concepts, like Blo in Lincoln Park and Blo-Dri in River North, had already come and gone. McEntee credits the success of Blowtique with her intensively-trained stylists and the salon's prime location on Huron Street.
Business has been good from the start, McEntee says, and Blowtique recently increased its hours. Blow dryers begin buzzing at 8 a.m. for pre-office appointments and don't stop until 9 p.m. most days. McEntee knew a second location was imminent, so when a space opened up at the Shops at North Bridge next to Nordstrom, she jumped on it.
The new salon will be similar in size and style to the current salon with 12 individual styling stations, champagne-hued leather chairs, and crystal chandeliers. Unlike the current salon, blowouts will be $40, not $35 as they are on Huron Street. A Mag Mile address doesn't come cheap, but I suspect the area's shoppers and tourists will shell out for a convenient coif.