Serial DC Restaurateur Scott Parker Names His 7 Men’s Essentials
The king of Arlington dining on radical transparency, cheap sunglasses and Chubbies
“I’m a small business guy,” says Scott Parker, the co-founder of a dozen successful establishments in the DMV area. “I started in restaurants and bars, and now I also own and manage barbershops, boxing gyms, retail store, and dog daycares. My passion is finding amazing professionals who want to go into business for themselves, but they need some help with gaps that I can fill in.”
Parker first opened A-Town in 2012, a popular watering hole in Ballston for the after-work crowd, which he’s now transforming into Bronson, a German bier hall, with partner Nick Cordero. Since A-Town, he’s gone on to open everything from upscale American comfort food restaurant Barley Mac to a full-service barbershop called the Bearded Goat in Arlington.
His latest opening was a CBD store in Dupont Circle called Restora CBD, and he also has Roy Boys 2 opening in Navy Yard at the end of the summer, where Washingtonians can look forward to “fried chicken, fresh oysters, and ice cream tacos … a strange combination that people have really become obsessed with.”
To help Parker celebrate his weird-yet-wonderful variations on both business ventures and menu items, we asked the prolific entrepreneur for his take on the seven essentials every guy should have, along with the seven things he believes should be relegated to the scrap heap.
The 7 essentials …
- The Rinse App. Life is too busy in the city for laundry. It’s a cost, but you can’t put a price on the time you save.
- A great barber. I was getting my haircut by Eric Renfro for a while before we decided to open a barbershop together with our partner Jon Dodson. When a guy comes into the shop that has had $18 haircuts all his life and gets a cut with us, his head spins at how much better he looks and feels. It’s transformative, and I’d argue it’s also wellness.
- A Herschel bag. They’re stylish and pretty affordable. You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg, and you’ll still travel in style.
- Radical transparency. Guys are so afraid to tell the truth sometimes. They have no idea how many of their problems they could solve by just being more direct.
- Cheap sunglasses. It’s not just a song. If you’re ripping around the city like we are, you’re going to break and lose some. No one cares about the .5 millimeter Gucci imprint on yours anyway.
- Nail clippers. If you want to fuel your machismo and never get a manicure, have at it. But no one wants to see those overgrown nails.
- Cannabis. We as a society have been hating on (and spending billions on) fighting something that is going to help people in ways we can’t yet comprehend. [Legalization] is going to change the whole culture. Uptight people who are scoffing at weed today are going to be sitting at dinner parties high off their asses, laughing until they can’t breathe in the coming years. That’s not even saying anything about what cannabis will do to help people suffering from a myriad of ailments.
And the 7 things to rid yourself of immediately …
- Kindle. There’s still something magical about picking up a real book and physically turning the pages. There are some little human experiences that tech shouldn’t replace. Recently, I read somewhere that the average human on Earth now spends 9-11 hours per day staring at some kind of screen. Put the tech down and read a real book.
- Uber X. If you don’t want to pay insane rates for Uber Black, at least do the new Uber Comfort. It’s such a better, safer ride. I’m all for saving money, but every time I get in an Uber X, I walk out carsick and feeling like I just survived a near death experience.
- Political arguments in bars and restaurants. No one cares. Save the back and forth for all your buddies in the chat rooms and blogs. At least there you’re around other people that actually want to hear that dribble.
- Chubbies. If you’re not 18 or 19 and you don’t go to Georgetown, they just don’t work. End of the day it looks like you stole them from your kid brother.
- Friends with benefits. Sure, it sounds amazing in theory. But in the end someone’s always hurt or let down. If you’re gonna be friends with someone, just decide not to fuck each other.
- Pick-up lines. We’re almost into 2020, fellas. Time to leave the cheesy pick-up lines in the past where they belong. No matter what girl or guy you’re into, the chances of a pick-up line working on them just aren’t that high.
- Coffee breath. We get it, you’ve let your body decompose enough while you’re still alive that you need caffeine to be a real person. But that coffee breath is getting a little ratchet, and it’s not the best look.