Wednesday, July 1, 2009 | 2 a.m.
Beyond the Sun
Getting Las Vegas residents out of the strip-mall frame of mind is no easy task. Getting them downtown is even trickier.
James Reza and Staci Linklater knew this when they opened Globe Salon in 2000. Both natives of Las Vegas, they had wanted to operate a downtown salon. But at the time, downtown Las Vegas was not experiencing the kind of urban revitalization that was occurring elsewhere. A thriving downtown marketplace had yet to evolve.
So Reza and Linklater very strategically opened their salon in a strip mall near the corner of Charleston Boulevard and Decatur Avenue — close to downtown, but a place that offered suburban familiarity for their customers.
It worked, and their business grew. But they never took their eye off downtown, and watched as galleries and businesses began opening in the Arts District. When developers announced plans for SoHo Lofts, Reza and Linklater knew it was time to make their move. They settled into their salon at SoHo last summer, downsizing to a 1,050-square-foot space with high ceilings, designer chairs, a hidden door, imported wallpaper, dark maple panels and bronze glass. Salon Today, a trade magazine, referred to the stylishly contemporary environment as a “modern-day Euro-glam Rubik’s cube.”
But what about locals? Downtown meant no strip mall and no vast parking lot.
In fact, clients at Globe, which recently garnered a national design award from Salon Today, park on the street. Next to a curb. An unforgiving, intimidating, 4-inch-tall curb.
During a catered celebration of the award last Friday, Reza took a few minutes to talk about moving downtown — and the perils of parallel parking.
Our vision for Globe Salon was always to be an urban, high-end salon like the ones we had seen while walking in downtown Seattle, San Diego, San Francisco and Manhattan. As natives of Las Vegas, we felt it important to put our vision and hearts into action, and become part of the solution rather than part of the problem.
How important is downtown to you?
It’s like coming home. I had grown up near Rancho and Charleston, and when I was in elementary school, my dad and grandfather bought suits at stores on Fremont Street, and my mother would take my sister and I shopping for school clothes at the JC Penney’s and Sears at the corner of Fremont and 6th Street. In high school we had prom dinners at the top of the Mint, or at Hugo’s Cellar in the Four Queens. My friends’ parents had offices fronting Fremont Street above the casinos. Downtown was a part of our daily lives.
Were you concerned about getting people downtown and parking?
We lost a handful of clients because they didn’t want to parallel park. People in Vegas are accustomed to free parking and a parking lot.
Did you offer lessons?
Yes. I’ve actually written out a diagram and told them the key is to turn the wheel before backing in.
Have you parallel parked for clients coming to the new location?