Every dad is a dude. But on Father's Day, he deserves a capital "D," as in The Dude, the aimlessly abiding hero of 1998's cult movie classic, The Big Lebowski. Hilariously unkempt, the character played by Jeff Bridges isn't the first person coming to mind when discussing men's grooming.
Regardless, the Dude's laidback aura fills a former warehouse at Lebowski Barber Salon, 1254 Channelside Drive, Tampa, where men get primped and pampered in manly fashion with plenty of room for playtime.
For $25, they enter a Celebration Station for adults, getting a beer, haircut, manicure, chair massage, hot facial towel, shampoo and shoeshine. Games, computers and TVs keep the wait entertaining. Services are provided by comely women dressed to thrill, chatting like one of the guys before a psychedelic graffiti wall. The Dude would dig that part.
Best of all, you don't need to be into the whole brevity thing. Stay and play until closing time, if you like.
As a proud Lebowski "achiever"— the proper nomenclature for the movie's devotees — I was drawn by this macho spa's moniker. Turns out that's one of the few things Lebowski Barber Salon has in common with its misfit namesake.
You see, the Dude is a bowler and wouldn't tolerate air hockey, foosball and pool tables. The laziest man in L.A. would scoff at a wall display of fix-it tools. Beach sandals don't need polishing and as you can tell, the Dude isn't really into haircuts.
The Dude might mutter "Far out, man," at the netted cage where golf balls are smacked at hanging beer cans, near furniture shaped like vintage cars that really ties the room together. Certainly the Dude would accept a free brewski upon entering although he'd prefer a White Russian. And it wouldn't hurt to play some Creedence instead of pop hits.
But that's just, like, his opinion, man. At Lebowski Barber Salon, the dads abide.