Eugene Weekly : Culture : 6.7.07

Cut, Color and Cosmo, Please!
New salon focuses on all things fabulous

I had no problem identifying Kristy Andreason at our designated meeting spot. Bleached blonde, ruby-sandaled and decked out in glittering sunglasses, the creative force behind the soon-to-be-open Moxie Lounge was a stylish bright spot on the deck of the Beanery. The Moxie, slated for a July opening in the former Savouré tea house on Broadway and Charnelton, will be the latest addition to Eugene’s selection of downtown salons … and bars … and restaurants. Andreason’s vision combines a few of her favorite things under the roof of one business: chic hair, high quality drinks and fine food.

“It’ll have a classy, jazzy, cocktail lounge feel,” she explains. “And a high-end, nice salon. We won’t have beer on tap, no pool tables.”

Andreason visited a similar establishment while traveling with her husband in San Francisco. She was struck with how much more fun clients had when getting their hair and nails done was a social affair instead of an errand. While the restaurant and bar will operate separately from the salon (different staff, different parts of the building), The Moxie Lounge will offer salon patrons the option of sipping martinis while sitting under the dryer.

“A bartender or a cocktail waitress will come over and offer a menu and provide extra pampering for the clients. It will be a place you can meet up with your girlfriends after work for a pedi,” Andreason says. Those not in immediate need of beautification can also visit the lounge and enjoy a swanky place to kick-start a night on the town. “The goal isn’t to be the ‘close down’ location, but more of the ‘pre-funk’ place. People in this town wait too long to go out. You need that 6 to 11 place.”

Opening a hair salon as well as a restaurant with a liquor license and a full lunch and dinner menu is no small task, but the ambitious Andreason knew the road to Moxie would not be without bureaucratic bumps.

“I’ve worked in restaurants and salons before. Knowing what kind of restrictions there were and that it was going to be hard actually made it easier. Getting three different departments of the government that never talk to each other to talk to each other is kind of hard.” She notes that there is a barbershop in Portland based on the same concept, a precedent that made her process slightly smoother.

“We have all the permits. Now we are just prepping the building, fine tuning, no major stuff. Making it look pretty.”

Andreason herself is relatively new to professional styling, although she notes she’s been teasing and tinting her own and friends’ hair for years. She worked for Rapunzel for a year after getting her license and is ahead of her goal of owning her own salon within two years of graduation. The Moxie Lounge’s four chairs are already rented by independent contractors and she hopes to add manicures and pedicures to the menu of services soon (although “no smelly stuff!” she says, pointing out the need to avoid acrylics in order to maintain an atmosphere conducive to dining).

When asked about The Moxie Lounge’s style specialties, Andreason laughs.

“I’m very good at bleaching,” she says, gesturing toward her own mane of platinum locks. “I’ve been doing my own hair for 10 years. I have one stylist who is the most awesome stylist in town for men’s haircuts and 75 percent of her client base is men. I’m basing my salon more toward women, but men can come in and have a good time.”

Good times are the goal for Andreason, whose quest to unite personal style with nightlife chic will be decorated with a 1920s speakeasy-inspired, art deco theme. Look for The Moxie Lounge to open its doors in July, with salon hours from 9 am to 9 pm Tuesday through Saturday and bar hours from 11 am to midnight Tuesday through Thursday, serving until 2:30 am Saturday and Sunday.