Yes, it is true. After almost 10 years, we may be relocating our beloved Phia Salon.
The 771 N. High St. location has been a tight fit for some time now, but there are so many wonderful things about the space, that we would still be trying to make it work (for at least a two-year renewal)…if it weren't for the recurrent deluges!
In case you have somehow missed the constantly patched (or stained, or damaged) ceiling, a couple of spots in the Phia ceiling have been H2O's destination-of-choice for nearly every water issue that has occurred in the condos above since the first downpour in '04.
Our landlords have worked to determine a solution to the issue, but thus far no one has been successful at diagnosing an underlying cause or offering any solutions or protection. So we did what we usually do with decisions that affect the entire team…we asked for their input, participation, and feedback.
We discussed factors that favored staying and chancing future water problems and factors that favored moving even if the water problem was corrected. We discussed space, potential, growth opportunities, and financial considerations. We discussed the amazing energy of the salon and whether the physical space had something to do with that, and most importantly, we discussed you, our clients, and your comfort, convenience, and any attachment our guests may have to the physical space where we're located.
Ultimately our staff humbled us, with an overwhelming sentiment that their belief was in the Phia Salon Vision: our Clients, our Purpose, our Commitments, and our Team. They have faith in what we've created and will continue to create, and they are confident that even if a move will leave us nostalgic for our old space, if it will help us provide a safer, cleaner, and more enjoyable experience for our guests, then it is worth the effort and expense.
So, while we would be thrilled if a magical solution to the water problem presented itself (and might stay another two years if it did), we are actively seeking the perfect location that provides our guests with a Short North location with great visibility, fabulous parking, a wonderful layout, and a reasonable rent! (And while we're asking for that list, we may as well add Peace on Earth and a solution to Global Warming, right?)
Fortunately, even if a perfect opportunity does not materialize, we have a beautiful sister salon just five-doors to the South. With a larger salon floor, gorgeous 15-foot ceilings, tall windows, a full basement, and lots of "old-world" charm, a few modifications (and some extended hours) would allow this great location to accommodate the staff and guests of both salons quite comfortably.
So, for anyone who is excited to help us create the next Phia chapter, here are some things we might ask:
- First, please let us know if you are aware of a great location that might fit our needs. We have a strong preference to stay in the Short North and would consider spaces both small and large (as several re-configurations are possible). Of course a space that is already built out as a salon has a distinct advantage, but it is not a requirement. As far as budget, that depends on too many factors to list, but in general, a salon P&L cannot typically support the premium rates many restaurants can withstand, but can usually pay considerably more than the going rate for office space.
- Second, we would love to have ideas to refresh our current space for the next several months. Our initial plan if the water issues had been resolved involved new flooring, paint, and a front-of-the-house redesign. Since we could be moving as soon as July or August, that no longer makes sense, so we would love ideas on rejuvenating the space without blowing the budget we now want to spend on our new digs!
- Finally, if we do merge with our sister salon, we will no longer have room for our central offices there, and will be seeking a small office nearby.
As always, we so appreciate your support, your loyalty, your feedback, and your ideas. Contact us with any of those at guestservices@
Mike and Elizabeth Bella