Retro Style & Design

Posted by on Aug 4, 2012 in Seattle, Things & Locations | No Comments
Retro Style & Design

Rudy’s Barbershop a chain of barbershops founded in Seattle, Washington and located primarily on the United States West Coast is more than just a hair dresser. It is a community with an interesting story behing it.

Alex Calderwood, a club promoter, was inspired to found the first Rudy’s during occasional visits to Sig’s, a neighborhood barbershop. Seeking to combine the traditional barbershop experience with trendier hairstyles that would appeal to a younger clientele, Calderwood, along with partners Weigel and Petersen, opened the first location in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood in 1992. The name Rudy was inspired by the character of the same name from the television program Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids.

By 2003 the chain had expanded to eight properties – four additional Seattle locations, plus two shops in Los Angeles and three in Portland, Oregon. There are presently 14 Rudy’s barbershops in Seattle, Los Angeles and Portland. The New York location was planned for July 2010, but just opened in 2012 in the new Ace Hotel New York.

Watch the whole story in this great video (10:38 Minutes):
from Rudy’s Barbershop on Vimeo.


Ace Hotels

The other story about a chain also founded in Seattle by Calderwood and Weigel, now operates hotels in Seattle, Portland, New York and Palm Springs. Ace has been called “the country’s most original” hotel by the New York Times, and a “mega-chain waiting to happen” by Wallpaper magazine.

Watch a tour of Ace Hotel Portland in this video
published by justin on

The first Ace Hotel opened in 1999. Friends Alex Calderwood, Wade Weigel, and Doug Herrick purchased and transformed a Seattle halfway house into an affordable hotel that would appeal to the creative class. Calderwood and Weigel had previously founded Rudy’s, a barbershop concept they started in Seattle that eventually expanded to more than a dozen West Coast locations, and a marketing and advertising company known as “Neverstop“.

In 2007, Jack Barron joined the team, and a second hotel was opened in Portland, followed by properties in Palm Springs in 2009 & New York in 2010.

Locations: According to Calderwood, the style and furnishing of each Ace property is designed to reflect its location, with an eye towards re-imagining properties that are “challenged.”

  • Ace Hotel Seattle is a former Salvation Army halfway house located in the Belltown neighborhood.
  • Ace Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs, CA is a converted Howard Johnson motel, and King’s Highway, the hotel’s on-site diner, is a converted Denny’s. There are two bars, the Amigo Room, and poolside, the Short Bus. The hotel was originally a Westward Ho prior to being a Howard Johnson. The remodel was a collaboration with L.A.-based design firm, Commune.
  • Ace Hotel Portland occupies the former Clyde Hotel in downtown Portland. In its former incarnation, the hotel’s lobby served as the setting for a scene from the film Drugstore Cowboy. The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Ace Hotel New York worked with Roman and Williams to redesign the former Hotel Breslin, a 1904 building in Midtown Manhattan. This location features a Stumptown Coffee and Chef April Bloomfield’s Michelin-starred The Breslin restaurant.

Calderwood has stated his goal is to open a new Ace Hotel every “one to two years.” Ace Hotels have confirmed to build a hotel in Los Angeles.

Interview with Alex Calderwood on


Rudy's Barbershop -
Ace Hotel -

RUDY'S BARBERSHOP: RUDY'S SAVES from Rudy's Barbershop on Vimeo.
Directed by Ben Velez and Shan Nicholson - Produced by Ben Velez
Shot and Edited by Shan Nicholson - Titles by GHAVA

Where to Stay: Ace Hotel Portland
published by justin on

Interview with Alex Calderwood about Ace Hotels on

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