Business

New shops come to Bayview Cash Store

Hair salon, gallery add to mix at historic shopping center

After a brief drought of empty storefronts, a wave of new businesses will fill the Bayview Cash Store this spring.

With an emphasis on five-star customer service, La Salon Bella will open next month in the Bayview Cash Store. The hair salon will bring back cuts, color and styling to the empty space that was vacated by the Colorbox Salon last May.

The salon will be joining two other new tenants at the Bayview Cash Store: the Basil Café, a Pan Asian restaurant and noodle soup house will open Feb. 15 and Open Door Gallery + Coffee, featuring the work of local artists and a full menu of espresso drinks, will open

May 1.

Beauty and style

La Salon Bella’s owner Brittney De Martini graduated from the Gene Juarez Academy in Seattle and has been renting a styling station at Joni’s Hair Design in Bayview.

“I chose the name La Salon Bella because bella means beautiful in Italian and that’s how I want my clients to feel when they’re in my chair and after they leave,” De Martini said.

“Our goal is to enhance, not replace, someone’s own personal style, making the customer feel beautiful — or handsome — from the inside out,” she said.

De Martini will celebrate the grand opening of her store Saturday, March 8. People can tour the salon and receive free samples of products.

The salon will open for business on Tuesday, March 11.

Monthly specials will be offered to encourage both current and new customers to try new services and products, such as a conditioning hair mask or gloss toner, De Martini said.

Art and coffee

After the 3Cats Café closed its doors late last year, a new place with a comfortable and creative atmosphere will begin serving quality espresso drinks — The Open Door Gallery +

Coffee.

The Open Door will offer quality coffee, teas, cocoa and a menu of espresso drinks. Pastries will be served for breakfast and mid-afternoon snacking.

But it’s not coffee alone.

The shop includes a gallery that will sell a diverse range of original art works by established Whidbey Island artists. The gallery’s largest pieces will include furniture, masks, paintings and sculptures.

The majority of the gallery will be devoted to smaller, more affordable pieces, such as ceramics, glass, jewelry, turned wood, handmade books and cards.

For some, the coffee shop-gallery will bring back the artsy feeling that was lost when Bayview Arts closed its doors in November.

Big plans ahead

Owner Louise Long wants Open Door to be an upscale, quality-driven establishment. But she also envisions a bohemian, fun-loving place where people can enjoy the latest local art while chilling out with art-loving friends over a latte.

“We’re looking forward to getting to know our customers on a first-name basis and being active members of the Bayview Corner community,” she said.

Local artists Susanne Newbold and Sandra Whiting, Open Door’s managers, share Long’s enthusiasm.

“As professional artists, Susanne and I have been successful showing our work here in the Cash Store,” Whiting said. “Whidbey is an art lover’s mecca, home to over

100 regionally and nationally recognized artists, most of whom have shown here at one time or another.”

Newbold agreed.

“The growing art scene here at Bayview, together with the established galleries in Langley, will soon launch South Whidbey as a major arts destination in Western Washington,” she said.

In addition to promoting professional artists, the Open Door will oversee the Cash Store’s space for emerging artists and students to exhibit and sell their artwork. The Hub, with wall space on the first and second floors of the Cash Store, was formerly curated by Bayview Arts.

“We want this to be the place to first see the work of the next wave of successful artists — whether they’re 18 or 80,” Long said.

It will be located in the Flash-in-the-Pan space that had hosted different entrepreneurs in the past year.

Open Door Gallery + Coffee will open May 1. The gallery will be stocked with plenty of original gifts for Mother’s Day on May 11. An opening reception will take place on Saturday, May 17.

The large retail space that was vacated by the Half Link bicycle shop when it moved to the larger space that housed Bayview Arts is still available for lease through Goosefoot Community Fund.

Michaela Marx Wheatley can be reached at 221-5300.

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