Salon Visio to relocate in December to former Con Gusto space

31 Jul

Schematics show new home for Salon Visio, with floor plan for interior.

Salon Visio has firmed up a deal to lease the top floor of the gorgeous brick building at 704 Oak Ave.

After years as a church, the building changed hands about 10 years ago. It first housed the Con Gusto restaurant, then the Gorge Grill, and most recently has been home to the offices of Columbia Gorge magazine. The magazine’s offices will remain in the lower level of the former church building.

Stan Aaberg, a partner with James Entwisle in Salon Visio, says the spa now at 310 Oak Ave. (behind Doppio) will relocate to the west after its current lease expires on Nov. 30 — just in time for Christmas.

Remodeling work will begin Sept. 1. Aaberg says the structure will require minimal build-out, because much of the necessary and desirable electrical and plumbing work is already in place as a result of remodeling for prior restaurant use.

“We’re super excited about what we will be able to offer our guests,” Aaberg said.

He said the spa simply ran out of room at its current location. The growth of the Gorge wedding industry, and demand for treatments like pedicures and manicures, facials, massage and body waxing got the owners looking for expansion room.

The new space will let them expand their work force from 8 now to about 22 after the move. They have six hair stations now, and will add four more. The new space will also let them create two treatment rooms and a separate manicure room. They also anticipate being able to offer some services on the front patio, which is screened from the street by an arbor.

They’re also excited that the new site has several on-site parking spaces, plus street frontage.

“The folks at Visio were aware that we had moved CGN-7 Studios to a larger, more accommodating location in The Dalles,” said Cory Bernard, project developer for CGN/Columbia Gorge Magazine. “They came to us with this great idea. The upper level of our building is a perfect match for a salon and spa.”

With the extra space, Aaberg and Entwisle hope to bring in industry experts to provide training to the entire Gorge community of stylists and other personal care professionals.

James Entwisle and Stan Aaberg of Salon Visio.

Aaberg describes himself as the business and marketing side of the partnership, and Entwisle as the creative side. He owned salons in the Tri-Cities area before starting Salon Visio in The Dalles. Aaberg worked in management at K-mart for more than 20 years. Five years ago, they moved to the Hood River space.

“Henry Fischer (their landlord) is a great guy to work with,” Aaberg said. “There was nothing he could do get us more space.”

For several months, Aaberg and Entwisle looked closely at the former Franz Hardware building at 2nd and Oak, but backed away from that site, in part because of the extensive costs associated with plumbing and wiring.

“The new location is truly amazing,” Aaberg said. “It’s a win-win-win.”

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