Whenever DC-based sports and entertainment entrepreneur K.J. Hughes flies into a new city, he has a favorite ritual.
“I always want a haircut or a razor shave. A shave in Turkey is different from a shave in Dumbo Brooklyn,” says Hughes, a senior advisor to the Washington Football Team. “That feeling after, you’re ready to take on the world—get a fit, stop at the lobby bar, meet up with friends.”
That fresh feeling, and the fun that follows, is what inspired Manifest. The four-in-one concept—housing a barbershop, coffee spot, designer boutique, and speakeasy—opens today in Adams Morgan, from Hughes and partners Brian Merritt and Susan Morgan. A stylish, two-bedroom residence with a retractable glass roof crowns the place, and will open for overnight reservations in the coming months.
It’s easy to start name-dropping at Manifest—starting with cutting-edge New York design studio Snarkitecture, which brought interactive installations like “Fun House” and “Beach” to the National Building Museum. They’re also behind the chic look of cafe-boutiques in New York and Paris for lifestyle brands like Kith. Shoppers here will find high-end streetwear, shoes, accessories, and grooming products from designers like Rick Owens, Engineered Garments, Reese Cooper, Plissé, and Manifest’s house line, Of Us.
Refreshments come in two forms: caffeine and cocktails. The cafe pours loose-leaf Aesthete Teas, a QBIPOC-owned company, and coffee drinks from Black-owned Black Acres Roastery. The 30-seat cocktail haunt, Out of Office, is designed to feel like an intimate escape with seasonal drinks named after travel destinations. The tucked-away bar is reservations-only, which you can make on the website—if you can find the link.
“It’s an Easter egg on the website—it’s not top secret, but it does take a little intentionality,” says Hughes. (We have yet to find it.)
Reservations for the barber shop are for members only—though neighborhood walk-ins are welcome to snag one of the svelte Belmont leather chairs if available. Grooming services include cuts and trims, hot towel treatments, beard steaming, facial masks, and hot lather shaves. Memberships ($89.99 per month) come with perks like discounts on salon services and retail products, free coffee drinks, and more.
“In order to deliver the experience we want, we want it to be a little exclusive,” says Hughes. “I’ve been in experiences when exclusiveness leads to exclusivity—we don’t want to do that. I want you to come in and feel like ‘these are my folks.’”
Manifest. 1807 Florida Ave., NW.