The QG opened its doors in 2005 as a four-chair grooming shop, with the intent to reinvent the barbershop experience. Owner, Craig Martin had a vision of merging the best of the old techniques, as well as bringing respect back to the profession with the latest equipment and technology blended to change the landscape of a man’s hair-cutting experience.
Craig then began to take notice of how the QG was not only having an impact on how a client’s new look made them feel, but also how clients enjoyed the social experience of just being at QG or part of one of their events. He began focusing on how to perpetually refine the original concept, but additionally exploring unique ways that QG could help clients look and feel their best still using the same original formula of merging the best of the old with the new.
With that end in mind in 2014, the QG Classic Department Store was born, bringing a new experience, service or retail to each floor of our 6 floor building at 31 South Calvert Street. This includes our first exclusive floor for women’s retail and a partnership with The White Room Salon. Craig’s mission is to bring the QG to men and women who appreciate the finer things, and to be a place where they can call their home away from home. It’s time to enjoy the QG Life. You’ve earned it.
behind The QG: A Note from Owner, Craig Martin
QG is short for “Quinntessential Gentleman”. My mother passed away from cancer and was a tremendous influence on my life. She was a stay- at-home mother of six, and one of the most compassionate and sweetest women on the planet. I was the 5th out of 6 siblings and my mother and I were very close. When she passed, I decided shortly after to leave my safe corporate job to start an entrepreneurial venture. I needed to recognize my mother in naming the business, so I used her maiden name “Quinn” and melded that with her desire for me to be a perfect gentleman – which is why Quinntessential Gentleman is spelled with two “n”s. I love and miss you mom.
I get asked about twice a month, “How did you come up with the concept for the QG?” In 1997, I told my father he should try and get a barber for the locker room of his golf club. He flat out told me that is was one of the most absurd ideas he had ever heard. For years I had been mesmerized by seeing straight razor shaves or barber shop scenes in old movies. In addition, my father, who lived and worked in New York City, would occasionally bring me along when he would visit friends at some very nice men’s clubs. I decided this ‘absurd’ idea would be the cornerstone of my new business concept. Although excited about the concept, I did not have tremendous support from banks or landlords. I opened the QG in Baltimore in 2005, working feverishly through a tough few years as I had to explain the business premise on a daily basis. Thank you so much for being part of making QG what it is today.