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.