Denver Nail Lounge
500 16th Street, Suite 136 (16th and Glenarm)
Bus directions: take the MallRide up to Glenarm
Sometimes lately it seems that all I write about is restaurants. There’s nothing wrong with that, but other people like Denveater do it much better. And downtown Denver can’t be a vibrant place if it doesn’t offer the services people want.
Hence my trip to the Denver Nail Lounge, located in the Denver Pavilions. I’ve been needing a pedicure, and although Lauren at Hair Technology in Westminster gives the most long-lasting pedicures I’ve ever had in my life, downtown Denver is easier for me to reach by bus.
Denver Nail Lounge is a “nail bar and bubble tea concept,” according to the website, and also serves hot chocolate. That sounded like heaven to me, but then I was worried by the caveat on the website that nail products and drinks never come into contact. What’s the point of this concept if you can’t sit back and drink while having a pedicure?
When I walked in, the bar was to my right and a row of three bright chairs faced me. The manicure table is to the left. The setup for pedicures is very much like that at Hair Technology, but that Aveda salon built steps and finished them with slate and piled pillows on top. All in all, the pink vinyl cushions were easier to navigate, if not as eco-friendly.
Of course, eco-friendly and pedicures don’t exactly go hand in hand. I would rate Aveda salons as slightly better on that score, since they use a less toxic nail polish and their products contain fewer petroleum derivates in general. However, McKinsey gave me my nail file and a pink buffing cube (noticing a theme here?) and said I could get $1 off my next pedicure if I brought them in.
Denver Nail Salon also provides stick-on inserts for the loofahs (or whatever it is that scrapes dead skin off your heels). I’ve never seen inserts before, but they may be more eco-friendly than using one with a plastic handle and then throwing it away. In theory, the handle McKinsey used could last forever.
So there I was ensconced on a pink seat, drinking a large if scalded hot chocolate, and McKinsey and I chatted about how she’d moved to downtown Denver recently and how a day of pedicures makes her back sore. Surely someone could design a chair that would allow the technician to sit up straight.
Both the pedicurists working that day were new; mine had been on the job about 6 weeks. Maybe I’ll come back in 6 months and see if the faces have changed.
McKinsey did a good job on my toenails, though she’s not quite as thorough as Lauren. I felt awkward at the end, because I had to move across the room while the polish dried to make room for her next client, a guy, and she didn’t talk to me once I’d paid her. But it was both peaceful and cheery in there, and I got out of the sun for an hour during the Westword Music Showcase.