Just Opened: The Cabinet Salon opens atop Queen West

Just Opened: The Cabinet Salon opens atop Queen West

Alex MacDonald and Emma Rose, owners of Cabinet (Photo by Karon Liu)

Cabinet, a relative newcomer to the salon scene, has a slight speakeasy vibe about it. Open since early fall, it’s tucked away on the second floor of a century-old building, above the knick-knack haven Outer Layer, and has a turn-of-the-century look that could be mistaken for a Murdoch Mysteries set.

Named for the 17th-century French term for a place where people met to discuss the fine arts, Cabinet is unfussy in its decor, with dark wood floors, neutral walls and antique-looking furniture. The space, which was once a photo and film editing studio, also serves as a rotating gallery (the Toronto artist Steve Rose is currently featured). The large windows overlooking Queen Street make it a prime spot for people-watching.

Long-time friends Alex MacDonald and Emma Rose (they grew up in Renfrew County, just outside Ottawa, and now reside in Parkdale) realized the dream of opening their own place after working at the Lid Lounge on Church Street for eight years. And with a devout following from their previous salon, as well as a new clientele—from hipsters to business execs to entire families and offices—the two are focusing solely on tresses for now.

Cuts are $50 for men and women. “We schedule everyone for an hour, whether the client is a man or woman,” says MacDonald. “We’re not a factory where we’re going to rush through the cuts.” Rose adds, “Besides, men can have long hair and women can have short hair, so there is no reason why women should pay more.”

While they certainly cater to clients’ requests, their look is modern, youthful and sleek, and screams hip rather than money.

The Cabinet Salon, 577 Queen St. W., 2nd flr., 647-344-3132, thecabinetsalon.com.