Spokane Journal of Business

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Bathroom remodeler opens store in Valley

Charles Hartshorn, a longtime contractor specializing in bathroom remodels, has opened a Bath Planet dealership and workshop in Spokane Valley.

Bath Planet occupies 2,400 square feet of space at 17702 E. Sprague. A portion of the space is a showroom, and the rest is contractor shop space.

The company focuses on bathtub and shower modifications and installing walk-in tubs and showers, Hartshorn says. It also sells and installs grab bars and safety accessories, he says.

"We have a lot of senior clients," Hartshorn says, adding that Bath Planet's products and services can help aging, mobility impaired, and disabled people function more independently in their bathrooms.

The store employs six people, including three installers who can handle most bathroom remodel jobs, Hartshorn says. The Valley shop's service area includes all of Eastern Washington, North Idaho, and a few counties in northeast Oregon.

Hartshorn says Bath Planet can complete most jobs in a day. Bath Planet's products come with a lifetime guarantee, he says.

—Mike McLean

New hair salon opens on Browne downtown

A hair salon called Blush Beauty Bar has opened in a 1,800-square-foot leased space at 1 N. Browne in downtown Spokane.

In addition to traditional services, the salon features a 20-foot-long wooden bar where clients sit as employees quickly style their hair using a blow dryer, says co-owner Lindsay Davis. Also called a blow-dry bar, the service is popular in western Washington and California but new to Spokane, Davis says. Clients using this service don't get a haircut but want their hair styled for an event, and the business offers a menu of styles for around $20 to $25, she adds.

"The blow-out bar is for men or women to get a hairstyle for different looks," Davis says. "We wash and blow-dry the hair for a certain great look for an evening event, or during the day."

The salon also offers haircuts, makeup, waxing, and other styling services. In addition to the beauty bar, the salon has eight traditional stylist stations with chairs for haircuts and hair coloring, Davis says.

She says she and co-owner Anela Kepa decided to open a salon that offered some new trends and products to customers. The salon employs eight people, including the two owners, and Davis says they plan to hire one additional stylist.

Davis says the salon offers nonalcoholic beverages to clients, but at a later date may offer wine and beer, if the state Legislature passes a new law allowing alcohol to be served in hair salons.

—Treva Lind

New bar will feature pre-Prohibition drinks

Spokane restaurateur Matt Goodwin plans to open a downtown bar that's to be called the Volstead Act.

The bar will open next month in 1,200 square feet of leased space formerly occupied by the Fraiche Contemporary French restaurant at 12 N. Post, in the Peyton Building, Goodwin says.

The Volstead Act is named for the 1919 federal law that enforced the 18th Amendment to the Constitution prohibiting for the most part, the manufacture, sale, and consumption of alcohol.

The bar will specialize in serving classic cocktails crafted the way they were before Prohibition.

During the Prohibition era, sweetened flavors such as sodas and juices were mixed into the drinks to mask distasteful bootleg liquor, Goodwin says. Though prohibition was repealed in 1933, there has only recently been a strong resurgence in craft cocktails, Goodwin asserts, adding, "We're going to take advantage of that trend."

The Volstead Act will employ five or six people, he says.

Erik Nelson, Cody George, and Alison Bantz, all of the Spokane-based commercial real estate brokerage Kiemle & Hagood Co., handled the lease.

Separately, Goodwin is a principal in the Boiler Room, a craft pizza and cocktail venue, under construction at the Cedar Crossing development, at 6501 N. Cedar, on the North Side. He also is part owner of Fast Eddie's Bar & Grill, at 1 W. Spokane Falls Blvd., downtown, and Press Public House, at 909 S. Grand, on the South Hill.

—Mike McLean

New insurance agency launches downtown

Northwest Insurance Professionals LLC, a new Spokane-based insurance agency, has opened in downtown Spokane.

The agency has leased 1,600 square feet on the sixth floor of the Paulsen Center, at 421 W. Riverside, and moved into that office space earlier this month. McKinley Romero, co-owner of the insurance agency, says the space includes three offices and a reception area, and had been empty for about four years.

Romero co-owns the agency with business partner Bradley Rimpela. Romero and Rimpela both were independent insurance agents before joining to form Northwest Insurance Professionals, and currently are the new company's only employees. Romero says they hope to add at least 10 more agents, some who will work remotely.

The agency will focus on helping individuals and families navigate through the process of signing up for health benefits through the state-run Washington Health Benefit Exchange.

"We decided with the Affordable Care Act that there are going to be a lot of people that will want to talk to a person," Romero says. The agency will help clients determine if they will qualify for a subsidy and help them sign up through the exchange. The agency will get a flat fee for every person that it signs up. It also will offer auto, home, life, dental, and supplemental insurance.

Chris Siemens, with Windermere Real Estate City Group LLC, handled the office lease.

—Audrey Danals

Pita Pit restaurant opens on South Hill

Pita Prestige Worldwide LLC, doing business as Pita Pit, has opened a restaurant on the South Hill, says Erik Morris, who co-owns the business with J.D. Winn.

Located at 2916 S. Regal, the 1,000-square-foot restaurant is Morris' second Pita Pit outlet. Morris also owns a Pita Pit at 818 E. Sharp, near Gonzaga University, where Winn is the manager.

The South Hill restaurant, formerly a Liberty Tax office, underwent renovations, Morris says, but he declines to disclose the project cost. He says the restaurant employs 12 people, half of whom work full time, and has seating for 25 people

He says customers at the Gonzaga restaurant, which he's owned for almost eight years, had been requesting a South Hill outlet for years.

The South Hill restaurant is the eighth Pita Pit to open in the Spokane-Coeur d'Alene area.

—Jessica Valencia

South Hill bakery set to open in October

JSU Holdings Inc., doing business as Nothing Bundt Cakes, plans to open a franchise bakery on the South Hill by early October, says Jocelyn Stott, spokeswoman for the business.

Co-owned by Samuel Canty, and his mother, Jolyn Canty, the business will occupy 1,800 square feet of retail space in the Safeway Shopping Plaza, at 2525 E. 29th, Stott says.

The Cantys plan to sell Bundt-style cakes in eight- and 10-inch sizes, as well as miniature sizes meant to be single servings, she says. They also plan to sell single-serving Bundt cakes in a 12 pack, called a "bundtini." The bakery will offer cake flavors such as carrot, praline pecan, and white chocolate raspberry, among others.

Stott says the bakery will likely employ between 10 and 15 people, with most positions being part time.

The South Hill store will be the franchiser's first location in Spokane.

—Jessica Valencia

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