Hair and Body Salon and Day Spa

A salon/spa has popped up in one of the most unexpected of places. While road work has begun to change the face of Main Street in Downtown Buffalo, Hair and Body has opened its doors, showcasing a remarkable transformation into what looks to be a modern, vibrant full service hair, skin care and massage destination. The orchestrator behind Mind and Body is none other than Brian Wantuch, creator and owner of Wasteland Studios (learn more about Brian). The great thing about Brian, is that he’s investing his time and money into a building on Main Street in Downtown Buffalo, and he’s doing something remarkable in the process… with relatively little funding, Brian has managed to open and/or attract a music studio, attract a tattoo parlor (Beyond Divine Machine Tattoo), a music and arts venue (The Vault), and now a salon (Hair and Body Salon and Day Spa). Brian told me that he has been given the opportunity to create this destination thanks to Harold Kopp, who owns the building. Harold has allowed Brian’s vision to manifest, which in turn has created a synergy that is remarkable. 

If all entrepreneurs in Downtown Buffalo thought like Brian, we would be in great shape. I must say that there was a time, many years ago, when I ran into Brian in Allentown and he painted a picture of his vision for me. He told me about the building, and the music studio, etc. While I respected Brian for his incredible dream, I wasn’t quite sure if he could pull it off. Boy was I wrong. Brian did exactly what he said he was going to do… and more. He identified a building that was empty and needed a lot of work. Then he moved his own recording studio into it. After that he reached out to business-minded friends that he thought might be interested in being a part of his adventure. As he attracted small businesses, he cleaned up the storefronts and helped to make them habitable for the entrepreneurs who were willing to take a chance on the building and Downtown Buffalo.
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Brian’s business philosophy was (and is) fairly simple – use common sense. Create welcome and inviting, affordable storefronts for businesses that can help to attract people and other businesses to the building. Find service oriented businesses that can help to create a destination. Work with the tenants, and allow them to feel that they are integral parts to the success of the whole. The better the tenants do, the better the building (and Brian) does. Be creative with the build-outs and be practical. Make them nice, but avoid hiring expensive contractors that would ultimately price start-ups out of the picture. More importantly than anything else… be hands on. Brian’s world is within the building. When you have someone like Brian who actually embodies and personifies the final result, then success can’t be far behind.
Now Brian has helped to creat what he believes is another successful component within the building. Yes, it’s a salon, but it’s so much more than just a salon. “See that over there,” Brian said to me [pointing]. “That’s where we’re putting the fish tank… right next to the bridge that traverses the massage studios. And then over there we’re putting in a waterfall for sound therapy.” The atmosphere in Hair and Body is refreshing, with it’s high ceilings, natural elements, sharp lighting and custom salon stations. Salon offerings include cuts, color, double-process tints, pedicures, manicures, facials, highlights and waves, reflexology, reiki, deep tissue massage and hot stones. 
With all of these services, Hair and Body is an escape for customers.  At the same time Brian’s fulfillment of his dream is a welcome dose of reality for Buffalo – that not everything has to be over analyzed and over designed in order to be successful, and that with enough determination and a “steady as she goes” approach, a lot can be accomplished in a relatively short period of time.
700 Main Street Buffalo, New York 
716.810.4247

About the author  ⁄ queenseyes

Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Catalyst behind the Pierce-Arrow Film Arts Center. Throws The Witches Ball at The Hotel @ The Lafayette. Themed New Years mayhem at various locations. Next up: Porchfest... Also offers package tours of the city for groups or individuals. Contact Newell Nussbaumer | Newell@BuffaloRising.com

9 comments
defender110
defender110

may have missed that possibly; nevertheless, if that's the case in Toronto and other cities trains have shared tracks with cars and have been relatively successful and these are big cities; whereas , Buffalo is not and could do with some busyness and mayhem in the core, it will add to excitement compared to the dreary forbading and empty "pedestrian mall" that exist now. You watch how much Main St. is going change in the coming years, I guarantee you will love the results and will be another piece of the returning urban fabric. The next step for Buffalo is to commence infilling with residential/commercial for we can see people are returning and want to live in the city now.

JSmith
JSmith

"cars will be segregated from the tracks as a right of way."

That's not the current plan. The plan is to have the cars and the train share a single lane. Some people (like the Citizens Regional Transit group) lobbied to have separate, dedicated lanes for the train and cars, but were ignored by the designers.

defender110
defender110

cars will be segregated from the tracks as a right of way. People will re-discover the greatest stretch of urban fabric in Buffalo once complete... this is "Main St" not secondary road as is Washington etc... and Main street was built as the retail "power center" of it's day and with the the continous improvements in all of downtown residential/retail landscape; this will be the showcase to criuse down while in the city.

JSmith
JSmith

It's not clear to me that cars have done much to "bring synergy" to Pearl, Washington, Franklin, Ellicott, etc. In fact, I would say that Main Street is the most active and vibrant street downtown, even considering the many vacancies on certain blocks.

I'm cautiously optimistic about the upcoming changes to Main, but more because I think it will improve the overall streetscape than because I think adding cars to the street will do anything to help the vacancy rates. On the other hand, I'm very concerned that putting cars right on the train tracks will absolutely ruin the reliability of Metro Rail all the way back up the line to the university. I guess we'll see...

defender110
defender110

ive driven all over the downtown but never really been to Main st, so cut off both vehicularily and psychologically from the grid and it unfortuneate because the greatest architectural assets are there. The opening of cars to Main st, will 100 per cent, bring a synergy back to this part of the city as well as an additional dynamic immediately to a mothballed section that has been this way for 30 years. This is a 'no brainer" requiring no infills and many retail and restuarant options immediately to occupy in a stunning beautiful streetscape( Shea's marquis, market arcade etc....

Up and coming
Up and coming

I wonder if this would have ever happened without bringing car traffic back to Main st? My guess, probably not.

BufHky
BufHky

As much as I was sad to see those mature street trees cut down for Cars on Main, it's amazing how much the storefronts on this section of Main now pop out. Love those transom windows!

Chris
Chris

Block glass should be outlawed forever!

Lego1981
Lego1981

If only the rest of downtown's building owners could follow these simple rules to attracting retail tenents to it's first floors instead of putting in tinted glass, offices, parol and social services in them creating a vibe of 'ghetto'.(Main Street from Court to Huron St.)

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