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Bel Aire Barber Shop Changes Hands

"We want to keep the tradition of the old barber shop, but expand our base to more children and young adults," said Rick Reiger, a longtime Napa salon owner who with partner Robert Blair has purchased Barber Shop of Napa Valley in Bel Aire Pla

The owner of one of Bel-Aire Plaza’s oldest businesses has sold his shop.

After 10 years of owning and operating Barber Shop of Napa Valley, Paul Pelias has sold the business to Headfeathers Salon partners Rick Reiger and Robert Blair.

Reiger and Blair are no newcomers when it comes to hairstyling.

Headfeathers has been in Napa for 37 years, according to Reiger. 

The salon started in the early 1970s on Brown and Second streets in downtown Napa, the present location of Carpe Diem Wine Bar, Reiger said.

“From there we were in the Uptown Theatre on Third Street, until we moved next door where we have been since.”

The Bel Aire location will remain strictly a traditional barber shop, Reiger said.

“We will be expanding the hours to seven days a week. We’re going to add a shave station,” he said.

“We plan to have barbershop quartets singing outside now and then, especially during the holidays. And we’re thinking about doing a student or athlete of the month, maybe hang their picture in the shop.”

The 1950s-style barber chairs will remain, as well as the outside barber pole.

 “There are some really old photos in the shop now. They will stay. We want to keep the tradition of the old barber shop, but expand our base to more children and young adults. We plan to start with at least three barbers and one shave station and see what happens from there,” Reiger said.  

Reiger will continue to run the downtown Napa salon and Blair will be at the helm in Bel Aire.

Basic haircuts will run $21, specialty ones, $23 and shaves will cost $24. The prices are the same for children.

Bel Aire keeps changing

While Headfeathers Salon prepares to take over Barber Shop of Napa Valley, outgoing barber-owner Paul Pelias said he has no intention of retiring.

Pelias, 74, has been barbering since “I was 14. I went to barber school when I was in high school.”

When Pelias took over the shop 10 years ago, Bel Aire Plaza was a “run down, sort of a seedy operation,” he said.

“There were a lot of empty store fronts. The business owners had not done much upgrades,” he said.

“There was nothing professional about it. Except for Ralph’s grocery and Long’s drug store, it was just a bunch of mom-and-pop operations.”

All of that changed when Main Street Properties took over managing the plaza.

Although Pelias admits the Lafayette-based management company has done a “terrific job" rejuvenating the once-shabby center, the corporate management has rubbed him the wrong way.

“We have guidelines now — which I don’t disagree with — but everything now has to go by the letter of the law,” he said.

“It’s good and bad and can be expensive. For example, I wanted a sign on top of my business, but I had to follow the guidelines, and the sign would have ended up costing me about $5,000. So, you don’t see a sign above my business.”

Although Pelias is tight-lipped about his future plans, retiring isn’t one of them; he's just planning to continue somewhere else.

“When I stopped enjoying it, I decided that was a signal to get out,” he said.

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leandra stewart October 15, 2012 at 03:52 PM
WELCOME---DOES THIS MEAN THAT THE SALVATION ARMY BELL RINGERS WILL BE WELCOMED IN FRONT OF TRADER JOE'S?????
Daniel Dabbs October 15, 2012 at 04:37 PM
good the old owner was a grump, i will go back their now
Ash Leigh October 15, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Congrats and good luck.
Jeffrey Wright October 17, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Paul will continue to cut hair at the Bel-Air barber shop just as always... Someone needs to get their facts straight !! He just cut my hair today ... And if you've ever had a problem with him I would take it personally because it's you and not him..... Great guy ...
Jeffrey Wright October 17, 2012 at 08:19 PM
@ Carl , It must have been a traumatic experience for you ...... Sorry to hear about it.
BILL BRASKY October 18, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Apparently you're ignorant to the fact that here in Napa it's illegal to smoke within 25 feet of any business.
Juan M. Curiel II October 18, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Just take a look at their reviews on Yelp, They are abysmal And well founded. Rudeness, bad haircuts and bad attitudes abound. If only there was an excellent, better-priced barber shop with amazing staff. (The Executive Room!) Comparing the two is a studying in getting it so wrong, then getting it so right. The people have already voted with butts in chairs and better looking hair.
Carl Spackler October 27, 2012 at 05:45 PM
@Bill; please review the smoking laws before posting incorrect information. Also, even if it were illegal, spraying someone w/ water in the face is still battery. http://changelabsolutions.org/sites/changelabsolutions.org/files/documents/2012_CALawsBooklet_FINAL_20120515.pdf

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