The new version of The Gentlemen’s Salon will include a bar, a Mexican restaurant and a patio cigar lounge.
Lori LaPenna said her business has grown rapidly since she opened on Merchants Row in March 2018, and in that time she has listened to her customers talk about what else they want. She integrated all those ideas when she began her expansion into the space last occupied by The Local nightclub. She said she originally planned to open the new location Nov. 1.
“That’s not going to happen,” she said Thursday as she stood in the middle of the under-renovation building. “We’re hoping for Thanksgiving. ... This has been empty for 2½ years. I ripped everything out that reminded (me)of the past, because I don’t want that. It’s a fresh start for this building.”
LaPenna pointed to a corner by the entry.
“We’re going to have retail over here, and humidors — we sell cigars,” she said. “We’re going to have mostly man-based retail, with some for women. ... It’s triple the space. We’re going from 900 to almost 3,000 (square feet).”
The salon will have six stations — up from four at the current — and side rooms for massage.
“Once a month a guest tattoo artist from out of the area — a known, talented artist — is going to be coming starting in January,” she said.
On top of that, LaPenna said they will offer manicures, pedicures and facials — and that’s all before getting into the back of the building. French doors will separate the salon from a café where she’ll have coffee and fresh pastries in the morning before serving alcohol and “authentic Mexican” later in the day.
“I’ve hired some true, authentic Mexican people to cook,” she said.
Behind the building she plans to put an outdoor cigar patio.
“I’m kind of taking all the requests I’ve gotten in the last year and a half and building this manporium, making it all one experience,” she said.
Once the move is complete. LaPenna plans to use her old space for a shop selling CBD products and hydroponic gear. She said they may look at retail marijuana sales there if and when the Vermont Legislature settles on a regulatory structure.
“Depending on how it goes,” she said.