If sipping on a cocktail while someone does your nails sounds like the perfect activity, a new lounge and nail bar in Edwardsville just might be your new favorite spot.
EXO Lounge and EXO Nail Bar will be the first concepts from EXO Industries, a brand of lifestyle services founded by Gina Gamblin. She brought in Justin VanMatre of Mike Shannon's Grill, the son of a good friend, to help consult on several aspects of the lounge: the layout of the bar, creating the menus, hiring and more. VanMatre's sister, Shannon Petrou, is also the designer on the project.
The lounge, which is slated to open in mid-December, will feature a waterfall-edge black quartz bar, Italian porcelain floors and even brass liquor lockers where elite members of the lounge can store their personal liquor. The neighboring nail bar will offer a full list of salon services, mostly importantly the perk of being able to sip on one of the lounge's cocktails or spirits while getting pampered. VanMatre says the concept turns getting your nails done into part of your night out, as opposed to something you do to get ready.
The cocktail menu, created by VanMatre and Katiana Tactikos of Gerard Craft's Taste, features ingredients that are health-minded to go along with the wellness theme of the nail bar, such as matcha and activated charcoal. Expect classic cocktails, as well as craft cocktails like a white chocolate Martini topped with activated charcoal, a Margarita Moscow Mule and Sugar and Spice, a rum-based cocktail made with a jalapeño simple syrup. Aside from the full bar and a curated whiskey and wine selection, Exo will also offer nonalcoholic drinks like cold-pressed juice, organic teas, espresso beverages and zero-proof cocktails.
The lounge will also serve light bites, including a series of tapanades, imported cheeses and a charcuterie board. If you're looking for a sweet treat, desserts like chocolate bark and cookies will also be available.
EXO will also have a signature scent; according to VanMatre, it's a combination of white apple, rosewood, amber and a musk finish.
"Our goal is to touch upon all of the senses," VanMatre says.
And don't worry, there will be entertainment, too. EXO will offer free WiFi and have a video wall with over 130 speakers for zoned audio in the lounge.
EXO Lounge and EXO Nail Bar, 2 157 Center, Edwardsville, Illinois, visitexo.com