Aug. 6 2014 12:00 AM



Lansing’s getting a new gastropub next week: On Monday, the Barrel Neighborhood Pub opens in the strip mall across from Frandor. Although the name may sound familiar, it has no connection to either the Peanut Barrel in East Lansing or the Whiskey Barrel in Lansing.

“It’s a simple concept — we saw something missing in the area, and thought a neighborhood bar would be perfect here,” said manager Frank Cheng. “I think it fills a unique niche.”

The site was the home of Jimmy’s Pub before it moved up to Chandler Road; the Jimmy’s building was leveled to accommodate the mall, and a hole was left in the local bar scene. When Xiao China Grille and Lounge, the Barrel’s next-door neighbor, opened in the mall in 2011, it made some inroads toward satisfying that crowd, but a real pub still eluded revelers.

Cheng said the Barrel will feature 20 draft beers, 18 of which will be dedicated to craft selections. The 1,200-square-foot space accommodates 40 seats, not including the patio. The menu was a central conceit — the gastropub concept relies heavily on nontraditional bar snacks, including mussels, calamari and three-cheese mac and cheese.

Cheng said the Barrel will feature daily happy hour specials that include reduced price appetizers. He said live music isn’t on the docket yet, but hasn’t ruled it out down the road. Keep an eye out for a grand opening celebration later this month.

Bringing on the Heat

Monday also marks the opening of Heat Blow Dry and Beauty Boutique inside the Michigan Athletic Club. The blow dry bar offers hairstyles that last for up to three days.

“We wanted to offer an affordable luxury service that did something like no one else in town was doing,” said co-owner/operator Dan Buccilli. “You can come in, get washed and styled and be on your way.”

Heat also offers haircuts by appointment. The base price for a blow out is $27, with haircuts starting at $45.

“This is a concept that’s catching on in bigger cities and I really wanted to bring it here,” Buccilli said “And being inside the M.A.C. is a perfect location.”

Although the M.A.C. is a private fitness facility, Heat is open to the public.

The Barrel Neighborhood Pub 3415 E. Saginaw St., Lansing Opens Monday 3 p.m.-2 a.m. Monday-Friday; noon-2 a.m. Saturday-Sunday (517) 333-8215,

Heat Blow Dry and Beauty Boutique (inside the Michigan Athletic Club) 2900 Hannah Blvd., East Lansing 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday & Friday; 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday (517) 575-6273,