Published on February 14th, 2013 | by Marques Haven5
The Junction Salon & Bar
A few months ago, I was at social event in Washington, D.C., and was explaining why MJ and I had decided to leave the District for the easy, low-cost life of Raleigh, N.C. The bulk of people who live in Raleigh tend to be I-95 transplants from anywhere, say, North of Richmond. While I was in the midst of sharpening the finer points of why we moved, someone broke in and asked, or more specifically stated, “Bro, I get why you moved but why Raleigh? I mean if you’re going to move to North Carolina you go to Charlotte not Raleigh.” Aside from being rude, dude had a point. Raleigh has long suffered in the shadow of its younger, better-looking sibling, Charlotte, but I have a feeling things are slowing changing.
Bit by bit unique places are popping up all over Raleigh, little boutique-like restaurants, off the beaten path art galleries and funky hair salons with split personalities – wait, did I say that right?
And there you have The Junction Salon & Bar. As luck would have it MJ and I found this place one Friday night while looking for a bar that was not on Glenwood Avenue. If you’ve ever been on Glenwood on a Friday night you’ll understand why. I was hooked and dead-set on featuring them on The Raleigh Picture Project after being there for less than five minutes.
One of MJ’s friends, who wishes to remain anonymous so her old salon doesn’t find out she hasn’t actually moved and isn’t in the witness protection program, gave me some background on the place.
The Junction Salon & Bar is more than just a place where you can get your hair styled perfectly to fit you and your way of life, it’s a hangout; a place where the stylists cultivate long-lasting relationships with their clientele. There is a vibe to the Junction that makes you feel at home; like this is the place you’ve been looking for your entire life.
After gathering some background information, their competitors and whatnot, of which there are few that stand in comparison, I decided to contact them directly to request an interview. By “contact them directly” I mean over Twitter – yeah I know, long gone are the days when you actually pick up a phone to make such a request.
On day one of my interview I walked into Junction not really knowing what to expect. Yes, I had been there before as a bar patron but as a man I have zero experience in the inner workings of a salon or spa, especially one that doubles as a bar. The first thing you notice when entering Junction is that the place is popping, I mean really popping. Sure, there are the things you would expect, salon chairs filled and stylists busy being masterful at what they do, but what really stands out is the chatter, conversations capped with laughter, the occasional story of last night’s highs and lows being told while sipping a martini while eco-friendly manicures are being expertly performed. Like I said, it’s more than a place to get the latest hairstyle, it’s a place you want to be.
I sat down with the owner, Kym Ferguson, the type of woman who can be described as driven, exceptional and simply infectious. Formerly of Marquette, Iowa, Kym moved to North Carolina in 1997. As one of the original owners of Primp Salon Bar, another establishment that competes or at least, tries to compete with Junction, Kym decided to venture out on her own. Her desire to find a unique space to house Junction led her to the warehouse section of Raleigh also known as Raleigh’s Depot Historic District. The space itself is beautiful – rustic wooded beams run the length of the ceiling and exposed brick walls frame the place invoking a sense of belonging. The bar anchors the space but Kym decided to go a step beyond the typical, she commissioned custom stylist stations and accents to be built further adding to Junction’s unique personality.
As we sat talking, Kym explained that her idea for Junction was to have a place where the client’s needs were being catered to in a relaxed environment and for her, that all starts with Junction’s crew – a cast of characters that serve as the life blood of the place. It wouldn’t be accurate to describe the interaction between Kym and her crew as staff or even co-workers. From what I witnessed, this is a place where deep friendships have formed, a family-oriented and teamed-focused group doing what they do well – making people look and feel their very best.
I came back a few weeks later to snap a few more shots for the profile and to follow-up on some additional facts. While there I had the opportunity to speak to Nikki, an attractive, model-like client of Chablis, one of Juncton’s skilled stylists. I asked Nikki what brought her to the Junction Salon & Bar and what her experience had been thus far. She explained that she had been a client of…ah, that other salon & bar about six months ago but after a botched hairstyle she made the move to Chablis at the Junction Salon & Bar and has never been disappointed. When I asked her to give me three words to describe Junction, she decided on professional, trendy and non-pretentious and I couldn’t agree with her more.
The Junction offers just about everything in terms of styling, even for men. Matthew Martin, master barber from famed barbershop Trufitt & Hill in Chicago, now working his magic at Junction Salon & Bar, gave me his take on why Junction is such a hit and why men should partake in a good Scotch, a straight razor shave and a stylish haircut. “Men today are just as much concerned with their looks as women, and there’s nothing wrong with it. A good shave, a good, professional haircut makes him feel better and helps relieve stress.”
The Junction Salon & Bar is also a great venue for events. In 30 minutes or less the place can be transformed to host a private party – did I mention the bar? The place is uniquely positioned to make any event a singular success.
The Junction Salon & Bar is quite frankly, another place I have found makes that me smile when I’m asked, “So Marques, where do you live.”
The Junction Salon & Bar is located at The Raleigh Depot Downtown at 327 W. Davie Street, Suite 114. Find them on Facebook at The Junction Salon & Bar, on Twitter @JunctionSalon or give them a call at (919) 449-7144.
Interview & Photography By Marques Haven (Twitter @marqueshaven)
Editor – Judith Keeler (Twitter @jgkeeler)