‘Dream salon’ unveiled at site of former pub and café
- Credit: Archant
A “unique” new co-working hair salon has transformed a former pub and café on a historic high street.
Mother and daughter hairdressing team Alexia Kyriakou-Malik and Robyn Kyriakou have worked tirelessly over the past few months to develop the former Albion Stores pub and most recently the No Place Like Home café on the High Street in Lowestoft.
But after creating their dream salon, and having only being open for a few days, the co-owners of Residence Salon in Lowestoft had to – like other businesses – temporarily close due to the continuing coronavirus crisis.
They are now planning a big relaunch-style party event and are preparing for the future as they embrace “a flexible co-working salon” that has been designed for freelance professionals.
It is believed to be the first of its kind in Suffolk.
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And despite being in its infancy, the new salon has already been described as “fabulous, stylish and modern” by a range of happy customers, who – like its owners – are looking forward to returning to Residence.
Co-owners Alexia Kyriakou-Malik and daughter Robyn Kyriakou said they had “a really good first week” but then just four days into their second week they had to close in lockdown.
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Mrs Kyriakou-Malik said: “We are a family of hairdressers.
“I have been hairdressing for 38 years and have had three different salons.”
After moving to London a couple of years ago she returned to Lowestoft to team up with her daughter Robyn in this new venture.
She said: “Robyn has a degree in marketing and I trained her in hairdressing.
“She has been hairdressing for four years and after she saw this premises and fell in love with the building, she said it would be ideal for a salon, so we decided to open this together.”
Ms Kyriakou said: “We wanted to create more of a diverse salon in Lowestoft – somewhere for everyone to come.
“This is a really beautiful building and part of a real community in the historic High Street.”
The co-owners said it had been a “really long haul” to transform the historic former pub and café into the lavish salon it is now.
Mrs Kyriakou-Malik said: “From November until now – up until a couple of days before we opened – we were working solidly on it.
“Now we are planning a relaunch party and have to see what the future holds.”
To find out who is “in Residence” at the salon, and to book appointments, visit www.residencesalons.com
Recalling the opening event, Alexia Kyriakou-Malik said: “We opened on March 11 and the first day was brilliant.”
“We had so many
people popping in to congratulate us, it was just lovely.
“In that first week alone we had 20-plus new customers, as well as all our old clients (from Robyn working in the salon at the gym) calling to book but by the end of the next week we were closed.
“We already have lots of people on the waiting list and this is a flexible co-working salon - the first in Suffolk - that allows stylists to rent a chair and build their own business with us.
“We still have opportunities to join us and have had a really good response from stylists interested. We specialise in blonde, that is our specialist hair colour.”
Although Residence closed following the government’s announcement that all non-essential shops and businesses had to shut down, the co-owners are already planning a big relaunch.
Steeped in history, the new Residence Salon at 101, High Street was formerly the town’s highest rated café – No Place Like Home – and was previously Albion Stores, which back then was Britain’s most easterly pub.
Since the former No Place Like Home café, in High Street, Lowestoft closed in December 2018 after nearly five years the prime location has been vacant.
The café was considered by many to be one of the town’s hidden gems.
On TripAdvisor it had earned a 95pc Excellent rating from 168 reviews with numerous customers commenting on its warm atmosphere and homemade selection of cakes.
Before that the Albion Stores pub – which closed in 1994 – was renowned as a unique pub that proudly displayed a brass plaque claiming it was the most easterly pub in Britain.
Dating back to the 1890s, and having also traded as Anchor Stores, the pub was particularly popular during the 1950s and 1960s with Lowestoft’s Dockside Dandies – The Fisher Boys – in their tailored, multi coloured suits often seen in the top bar.
Now Residence is situated in the Grade II listed building. It features “688sq ft of luxury, light, bright and airy salon space” complete with a blow-dry bar, four self contained colour areas, a shampoo belvedere, self-serve refreshments area, reception desk and an Only Fools & Horses cocktail bar.”