A La Carte
Ten minutes after opening Saturday, long-time customers of Brian Thomas’ other business, IPSA for Hair, were in. Passionate clients like Nathalie Jacoby immediately shared that “Monica is phenomenal, the best manicurist ever.” Nathalie was in to schedule a LashDip, the hot new semi-permanent application that dips your lashes, leaving them painted for up to six weeks. Nectar has the Washington exclusive.
“I had a concept: IPSA for skin,” long-time Washingtonian, Brian Thomas, told The Georgetown Dish. As he explained, “The beauty industry has a huge gap between Sephora & Neiman Marcus … We’re a niche in that market, selecting the top products, all focus-group tested around the country.”
Brian’s wife Amy, the Director of Protocol for the Ambassador of United Arab Emirates, helped create a wish list based on her world travels: top brands typically only available in major markets like Los Angeles, New York, Paris, London and Tokyo. And please add a results-focused spa experience with highly-trained, knowledgeable staff, cutting edge technology, a convenient location and valet parking. For Brian, chief of staff of Texas Representative Kenny Marchant, and experienced at designing and building luxury condominiums, this buildout (formerly Sugar boutique) next door to IPSA was the perfect spot.
Newly painted purple, the 18th century row house on Wisconsin Avenue in Upper Georgetown, now Nectar's flagship location, features a veritable United Nations of cult beauty products. To name a few, Paul & Joe Beaute from Tokyo (Bergdorf Goodman’s #1 selling make-up), Australian make-up by Becca Cosmetics, Butter London nails (recently in the news as Kate Middleton’s favorite), Italian skincare from Comfort Zone, GlamGlow (Hollywood’s favorite body mud mask) and PRTTY Peaushun, a “skin tight body lotion” from LA make-up artist, Bethany Karlyn, a #1 best seller at Bendel’s.
Upstairs are two treatment rooms under the expert care of esthetician, Catherine Layrle (Nathalie Jacoby’s LashDip guru). Spa procedures include Intraceuticals Oxygen Infusion facials, Softsense gentle waxing from Italy, Nectar-exclusive pedicures and manicures “in the Thai tradition," Brian explained. And not to leave any body part unpampered, there’s airbrush tanning, brow shaping and makeup services..
Day one and Brian was already talking about adding product lines, and expanding. Reminiscing about growing up in Lubbock, Texas, Brian said “My mom would take me to the mall to get ‘Sunday shoes’ and every time I got measured and fitted, and a lollipop. It was always a special outing. I want to bring back the lost art of customer service. That’s the kind of experience I want Nectar clients to have here.”
Nectar Skin Bar is at 1633 Wisconsin Avenue. Tel: 202.333.4332
First shown in Madrid, ECO, an exhibition by 20 photographers whose images focus on environmental issues including river degradation, torrential rains in Brazil, and the consequences of nuclear power in Eastern Europe, opens Saturday, June 4 at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center.
To celebrate the opening, a free artists’ talk with Cannabrava and Camarra will be held at 5:00 pm on Saturday, June 4 at Abramson Family Recital Hall. Cannabrava is director of Partay en foco, Brazil’s most significant photographic festival, and directs the Foro Latinoamericano de Fotographia de Sao Paulo. Camara is one of Spain's most impressive young documentary photographers.
Also opening Saturday is Registro 02, Mirar por segunda vez (Record 02: A Second Glance) an exhibition of the works of four individual artists and one collective, including paintings, drawings, video, and digital animation. All of the artists live in or near the Mexican city of Monterrey.
For more information on these exhibitions, read more here.
The American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center is open from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is free. For more information call 202.885.1300.
If you'd been to Nathan’s, you’ll notice that the ceilings are now two feet higher, the walls are white and pink, the bar’s a little shorter (to make room for more tables) and the tenants (tailor and palm reader) are gone. Serendipity 3 DC's owners Britt Swan (also of Rhino Bar and Fly Lounge) and Rodrigo Garcia (son of Marlena Kent Cooke) have plans to add a speakeasy and private dining room upstairs.
"As the founder and owner of Serendipity 3, I am delighted to open an outpost at the infamous corner of Wisconsin and M Streets in the heart of Georgetown,” Stephen Bruce told The Georgetown Dish.
“My roots in D.C. run deep and began with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and continue all the way to Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. I anticipate hosting many parties and events in D.C. with serendipity style."
Since 1954, Bruce has owned New York’s first coffee house boutique named after three legendary princes of the island once known as Serendip (now Sri Lanka).
To pay for his meals at Serendipity’s first location on East 58th Street, a young Andy Warhol paid his checks “with stenciled drawings on paper bags,” says Britt Swan. Not surprising that “Warhol’s coloring partner and friend Stephen Bruce, a former fashion designer, has the largest private collection of Andy Warhol drawings in the world.”
Famous for the celebrities that frequented it as much as for the fabulous food, Swan said “a young and pregnant Jackie Kennedy had her maternity clothes designed by Bruce and ate there regularly.”
It didn’t feel like opening day for this iconic establishment’s first D.C. location. Large families with small children enjoyed lunch as if they’ve been coming here for years. Students and tourists mixed with neighbors who stopped by for Serendipity’s signature sundaes and extensive selections of everything from sliders and steak frites to Thai beef salad and crab cakes. Bakery chef Liz Barbato was upstairs baking rolls and cakes “we make everything here including the burger rolls”, says co-owner Britt Swan.
It’s not just a restaurant, it’s also a neighborhood meeting place open most nights till 2 am and a general store. If you see something you like, just ask. Many of the furnishings are for sale, including the huge domed stained glass ceiling shades.
Serendipity 3 DC is at 3150 M Street. Tel: 202.333.5193