A Riverhead native has opened a chic new hair salon on Howell Avenue, directly across the street from Town Hall.
Gabriel Loren the Salon had a soft opening Dec. 27, owner Raquel Dispenziere said, and will celebrate its grand opening at 4 p.m. today. The event will feature food catered by Papa Joe’s on West Main Street and various raffles.
Ms. Dispenziere, a hairstylist who grew up on the North Fork and later moved to California to become an educator at Paul Mitchell Schools, said she came back to Riverhead in May. She was looking for a space to open her own salon when she noticed a “For Rent” sign in the window at 212 Howell Ave., which had been vacant for around a decade and once operated as a laundromat.
“It was just something I stumbled upon and I’m really glad I did,” Ms. Dispenziere said.
The building was in “rough shape,” she said, so the walls were replaced and repainted and a stained concrete floor was poured. To enhance the space’s industrial vibe, Ms. Dispenziere said, she left the ceiling’s beams exposed.
Gabriel Loren the Salon has five stylists including Ms. Dispenziere and offers a variety of services for men, women and children. It also offers specialty add-ons like hair and eyelash extensions and organic spray tans. In addition, the salon has a $200 a month package that includes unlimited haircuts, color, styling and treatments, Ms. Dispenziere said.
The salon was abuzz with activity Saturday afternoon, where stylist Ashley Fogerty was giving 12-year-old Grace Kaelin of Aquebogue blond highlights. Nearby, Grace’s younger sister, Sierra, 10, was admiring her own hair’s newly dyed pink tips.
“I like it,” she said of the salon. “It’s really neat.”