WICKER PARK — The owner of a Wicker Park salon said the busy spot is ready to start "growing up" and plans to expand into the old Ragstock building next door, creating space for more haircuts, facials and other services.
Fringe owner and stylist Dawn Bublitz said she plans to remodel the entire store, and she's brought in New York beauty retail designer Peter Millard to envision a layout for the new place and add more of a "luxury" feel to her salon's urban vibe.
The salon will get a fresh coat of paint and lighting designed especially for hair colorists, Bublitz said.
"We're just kind of growing up," said Bublitz, who hasn't done any remodeling since she opened Fringe at 1437 N. Milwaukee Ave. in 2002.
The add-on would create about 1,400 extra square feet of space, bringing the total to about 4,000 square feet, Bublitz said.
The extra space means she could potentially add three more manicurists and eventually five more hair stylists, Bublitz said. Currently, Fringe has one manicurist and 13 hair stylists along with three employees who do body waxing and facials.
She also plans on adding an eyelash bar and nail art services.
Fringe is "at capacity," Bublitz said, and many of the stylists have to share stations. Brand new styling stations and equipment would be part of the shop's makeover.
Mark Kupiec, the zoning lawyer representing Fringe, said the salon will first need a special-use permit from the city before the expansion can go ahead.
The next step in the process isn't until June, Bublitz said, and she's hoping the new space will be open by September. She said she doesn't expect the store's changes to raise any prices.
"The customers need the expanded facilities, and she's just trying to accommodate them," Kupiec said.
Bublitz said the plan had always been to remodel, but then she saw a bigger opportunity when neighboring resale store Ragstock moved out of 1433 N. Milwaukee Ave. and into a larger storefront at 1459 N. Milwaukee Ave.
"It just seems like the right time and the right thing to do," Bublitz said.