Butler’s Grooming for Men has become an oasis for men who want to look their best and relax at the same time. That has become owner Chris Butler’s recipe for success.

by Richard James, Photo by Beau Gustafson

Chris Butler

From the playing fields of major college football stadiums and NFL tryout camps to the corporate suites of major regional banks, Chris Butler has finally found a home in his own oasis for men.

“I really wanted to run my own business,” Butler says. The business he settled on was Butler’s Grooming for Men, an executive grooming lounge and club in downtown Birmingham on Second Avenue North.

Born in Mississippi and raised in Hoover, Butler was an athlete at Hoover High School (he still holds the 55-meter hurdle record in Alabama) who was good enough to play as a running back at the University of Nebraska and later Auburn University. He graduated from Auburn in 2002 with a degree in sociology and began working on his master’s degree in public administration at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.

But football continued to call to him, and he entered the 2005 NFL draft as a free agent. After tryout camps, a torn-up knee brought him back home to Birmingham and a climb up the executive ladder in the banking industry, first at AmSouth Bank and later at BBVA Compass.

Butler opened his own business in June 2009, and since then has served about 1,100 customers. “It is all about the experience. High quality service at affordable prices. Appearance is so important. It is a key thing for me. Grooming clubs like Butler’s are huge in larger cities such as Chicago and Atlanta. I really believe the time is right for this concept right here in Birmingham,” Butler says.

Butler’s is unique in that they offer traditional barber shop services like haircuts, straight edged shaves, shoe shines and hot towel treatments as well as address the increasing demands for manicures, pedicures, waxing and massage. The licensed staff is constantly learning the most up-to-date grooming methods and techniques using high-end products.

Sporting a sleek metal-and-wood interior, free Wi-Fi™ and a flat-screen TV at each styling station, Butler’s atmosphere is modern, upbeat and masculine. When you walk through the door you are greeted by a concierge and treated to a complimentary beverage of your choice. Your personal “butler” takes you through a consultation and discusses your personal grooming habits and maintenance to help you determine a grooming routine best suited to your needs. Services are performed with the utmost care and precision, Butler says.

“Take a real break from the office by enjoying the day’s news or sports on the flat screen TVs while you indulge in your choice of cold drinks, wine, premium spirits or cold beer. Or, if you just can’t get ‘away,’ bring the office with you by connecting in all areas of the shop via our Wi-Fi Internet service. No matter how you choose to use Butler’s, you can relax and rest assured that you are in good hands and get one on one attention. And you will leave looking and feeling your absolute best,” Butler says.

“I like to think of it as a place like Cheers, the television bar. It is a friendly, happy and relaxing place.”

One innovation Butler has introduced is a membership program (Gold for six months; Platinum for 12 months) that includes unlimited haircuts, manicures, shoe shines, special member events, and 15 percent off additional services and products at Butler’s as well as a 15 percent discount at select retailers such as Saks, The Maids, and Zaza restaurant.

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