So, Portland has cemented its reputation as a foodie city and Bean boots have gone from utilitarian to high fashion.

What’s next?

Men’s salons, apparently.

Blind Pig Barber Co. will open in the Old Port on Dec. 14, offering men a place to get a haircut, a drink and maybe a chance to throw a few darts – all in a male-friendly environment devoted to the wide array of services that fall under the general heading of manscaping.

Sure, a customer can get a haircut. But there are also straight razor shaves to be had, facials, “hair camo” (aka coloring) treatments and hand detailing, which offers men a chance to get their nails trimmed, filed and buffed without calling it a manicure.

The owner of Blind Pig said his business represents a recognition that it’s a new era, when a man can go to a salon without apologizing for the extra effort – and cost – to keep up appearances.

“We like to take care of ourselves,” Bryan Pappas said. “It’s a new industry.”

But that’s not precisely true in Portland. June Juliano has been operating the Mensroom near Monument Square for more than a decade. There are lots of grooming services available, along with a pool table, leather sofas and chairs, and big-screen TVs tuned to sports channels.

“There are not a lot of places you can walk into, sit on a couch and watch ‘SportsCenter’ and they’re like, ‘Want a beer?'” said Ben Levin of Portland, who found Mensroom two years ago when he moved from Boston and has been a regular since.

Yes, a beer.

Allen Baldwin of Portland receives a hot towel treatment from Alicia Newcomb before his haircut at Mensroom Salon & Lounge in Portland. Owner June Juliano started the salon because she saw how uncomfortable men were at a woman’s salon. Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

Allen Baldwin of Portland receives a hot towel treatment from Alicia Newcomb before his haircut at Mensroom Salon & Lounge in Portland. Owner June Juliano started the salon because she saw how uncomfortable men were at a woman’s salon. Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

Both Blind Pig and Mensroom offer their customers complimentary drinks, including the adult kind, as a way to unwind and kill a few minutes while waiting for a barber’s chair.

Juliano said the salon has posted an increase in revenue every year since it opened in 2004. Juliano, who also owns four traditional salons named Acapello in southern Maine, said she sensed there was a niche waiting to be filled because the men who came into her salons didn’t look at ease in the more feminine-dominated environments.

“I said, ‘I see how uncomfortable men are coming into a women’s salon,'” she said.

“It’s a huge risk when you cut your (potential) clientele in half,” Juliano said, but “the market started to blow up.”

Juliano said she had avoided opening a salon in Portland because there always have been plenty of competitors, but a salon oriented toward men was different enough that it made sense to her.

“This is the only place it would work,” she said.

Juliano found a spot in 8 City Center, a building next to One City Center, but she said the space was rough, with wires hanging from the ceiling and the floor studded with nails sticking up. But she said the exposed brick and accent lights create a great environment for a more masculine salon.

The most popular service is still a haircut, which Juliano said comes with what she calls “a ritual,” such as a scalp, hand or shoulder massage, eye or cutical treatments, and a hot towel for the back of the neck. While waiting, there’s pool, darts, video game consoles, and the couches and TVs.

A cut, shampoo, “stress relief treatment” and the hot towel runs $42. Among other services, hand detailing goes for $25, while a facial runs $45.

Juliano said that many of the regular customers have become a bit possessive of the salon.

“It’s definitely their space and they don’t like it when women come in here, other than the women who work there,” she said.

Pappas of Blind Pig hopes to develop a similar atmosphere, where customers will see his place as more than just a spot to run into for a quick haircut.

“It’s a place where a guy can come in and feel comfortable and not be at their wife’s or girlfriend’s salon,” he said. “It’s a safe environment for guys to come in and get a manicure or a hair coloring, a safe place for them to try something else.”

Men get a straight razor shave after their haircut at the Mensroom. Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

Men get a straight razor shave after their haircut at the Mensroom. Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

The Blind Pig – the name comes from a Prohibition-era code word for a speakeasy – will offer customers an option of a membership, a business model that Pappas is familiar with because he owns fitness gyms in Florida. For $50 a month, members get a personal consultation, haircut, shampoo, scalp, neck and shoulder massages and a hot towel neck shave. They also get free “express cuts” for sprucing up before the next scheduled, full treatment, and discounts on shaves, beard trims, hair “camos,” hand detailing and even father-son combo cuts,

For those who don’t go the membership route, the “executive haircut” runs $37, a beard trim costs $15 and the hand detailing is $25.

The Mensroom also offers some specials, like the get-a-haircut-with-a-friend Two for Tuesday deal and Wild Wednesdays, a buy-one, get-one special on services.

Both salons are tapping into a trend. Many men see special attention to grooming as essential for business success, according to the market research firm Euromonitor.

Men are looking to “maintain an aura of youth and energy in today’s highly ambitious society,” the firm said in a research report on men’s grooming. “As baby boomers grow older but still compete with men of all ages for jobs and romantic partners, they will continue to spend what they can to look as good as they can and advertise their worth.”

The report also said an “embrace of new routines” will allow men to spend more on grooming “without feeling bad as they consider their money spent as an investment in themselves.”

But some customers say that, being guys, they still approach the haircut much like shopping – a chore to get out of the way as quickly as possible rather than an all-day pursuit.

Ben Piper, a lawyer with Preti Flaherty, said he’s a regular at the Mensroom, but the various accoutrements aren’t that much of an attraction, he said.

“It’s close to my office,” he said. “The pool table and the beer aren’t really a big part of it.”