Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

Tonic Barber Opens in the Galleria

Article by Courtney Reed

Photography by Photos Provided By Tonic Barber

Originally published in Minneapolis Lakes

Tonic Barber is poised and ready.  So is their sister salon that customers have grown to know and love for years, Lili Salon Spa.  Tonic is the all new barber shop dedicated to men’s grooming that recently opened on March 17th only to shut down voluntarily two days later, prior to Governor Walz’s official orders to shutter amidst the wave of a global pandemic. 

Months before the chaos of COVID-19, William Anderson of Lili Salon Spa had approached the Galleria with a men’s salon spa concept that would bring something unique, fresh and convenient to the mall while complimenting stores like Twill, Filson, and Suitsupply.  Anderson is no stranger to the business.  He started in 1983 after completing his education in London, and coupled with 25 successful years at a salon that was previously in the Galleria, it was time to venture off on his own.  He founded Lili Salon Spa whose first location opened in 2008 in Minnetonka and eventually moved to the Galleria in 2012.  Anderson has held just about every role in the business from hours on the salon floor, to operations, product management, and more. 

With the recent explosion of men’s hair and grooming, Tonic Barber is tailor made for growing trends.  Anderson comments on how “now there are some remarkable and upper end men’s grooming centers in the Twin Cities and throughout the nation.”  Men can feel good coming to a male focused environment. 

Tonic is ideal for men who tend to have frequent and stylish haircuts, who don’t particularly enjoy going to a traditional salon, and yet crave a unique space to fulfill their needs.  Having so much tenure in the industry, Anderson took a combination of visits to Las Vegas and New York seeing “high design at its best”, customer comments, and years of watching traffic flow into account.  Along with help and expertise from RSP Architects; it was a deliberate, yet fun space to build out. 

Tonic encompasses a special space for men who like a more private, very boutique-like atmosphere.  The lighting and layout provide the feel of a one on one experience.  Anderson describes it like walking into a restaurant and “choosing a booth versus an open table.”

There is also a huge benefit to have Lili Salon Spa immediately next door for optimal functionality and flow, as they will share some of the resources.  There is a Jack and Jill spa room, equipped with a hidden door on the Tonic side where men seeking PRP hair loss services or injectables will be able to maintain privacy.  For men’s haircuts, different price points will be offered and this service will take about 30 minutes on average and include a complimentary shampoo service. 

William wants people to know that men and women are both equally welcome at either space.  Men who have previously been clients at Lili can transfer to Tonic and keep their same experience as their service at Lili.  As for Anderson, he still likes to spend time behind the chair and says, “My love is with people and my love is in the salon.  I really enjoy the process.”  His focus on both locations will continue to be on quality, great service and safety for all staff and guests. 

It appears that good things do come to those who wait.

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