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Ms. Diva talks, and her enthusiasm verges on hyperbole. Her salon, The Parlor Hair and Nail Lounge is on “the hottest street in town.” Her main stylist, Shyla, is the “best Latina stylist in the West.” She says all this smiling, with several bursts of laughter. She knows she's selling it hard, but that's OK, because you're buying.
And why not.
After all, this is a woman who's known to pretty much everyone, including her mother, as Diva — and not the Mariah Carey kind either. She's a singer, actor and producer who is friends with celebrity stylists from Los Angeles — the ones who do hair for people like Beyoncé and Halle Berry. Her salon is upscale and chic.
And it's totally downtown.
So maybe she's right about the neighborhood around Ventura Avenue and O Streets.
It's blooming, if not booming.
Ms. Diva is thinking hard about getting a loft there so she can roll out of bed and saunter across the street to work. After work, she might pull up some chairs outside the shop and just watch people stroll down the sidewalk, San Francisco style.
“That's the vision I see,” she says.
And that carries into the salon, which is open from 6 a.m. until midnight, to accommodate just about everyone, especially those working close by at PG&E. Or the appellate courthouse. Or any of the other buildings in the little square of Fresno we call downtown. After all, we need to keep people downtown after work, after dark, Diva says.
The theme and decor of the salon, well that probably had something to do with her summer in Paris. It was one of those soul-searching trips.
“Sometimes you just have to rediscover yourself.”
And sometimes, you've got to re-invent yourself.
So, that's what she did — changing the name of the salon from Celebrity Status to the Parlor, and giving the space a new look. Chandeliers hang from the ceilings. Seven-foot mirrors, framed in ornate dark woodwork, stand before each station. There are plush couches and oversized chairs throughout the shop.
The place is “maid to pamper,” Diva says, a play on the French-maid theme. The stylists wear French maid aprons. It's an “adult” salon, which is no way as dirty as it sounds. Clients can come here to escape for a bit — sans les enfants, to borrow more from the French.
There's still some fine-tuning to do. She's looking for a few more stylists and someone to do manicures. But we can expect a grand re-opening soon, maybe sometime around July 4. She's thinking some sort of mini-Mardi Gras, a street celebration to go with the French/New Orleans theme on the block.
The Parlor Hair and Nail Lounge
2508 Ventura Ave.
Now accepting appointments