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Sherri Richards, Published June 26 2010

Two new nail salons offer pampering in downtown Fargo

Downtown Fargo is a bit more polished. Two nail salons opened recently on Broadway.

The Nail Bar opened in May in the historic Ford building, 505 Broadway. It offers “cocktail-inspired” manicures and pedicures.

Lotions and scrubs are served in barware, and clients can have a glass of wine or beer while getting their nails done.

“It’s a much more social environment,” said owner Chelsa Swaser. “Very lounge-y, comfortable, a place for women to come with their girlfriends and enjoy a glass of wine and have a pedicure.”

The Nail Bar can also be rented out for private events, like birthday parties or bridal showers.

Farther south, Polished Nail Spa opened earlier this month at 102 Broadway. It offered free services its first week in business, including colored acrylic nails, a glitter toenail treatment and gel polish, which lasts two to three weeks.

Polished owner Tom Huynh said he wanted to introduce the downtown clientele to the salon’s unique products. “They’ve never seen the things that we’re doing,” he said.

Huynh has been doing nails for 11 years. He opened his first salon more than five years ago. He now owns two Regal Nails in local Walmart stores and another Polished Nail Spa in the Osgood neighborhood of south Fargo.

Huynh said he trains the nail technicians himself. One reason he opened the downtown shop was that he needed more room for technicians, he said. Eventually, the downtown store will have eight to 10 employees.

Swaser owns Chelsa Alene Salons, a hair and nail salon in south Fargo. She said she wanted to bring something unique to downtown.

“I just feel like the downtown environment is offering uptown chic, great boutiques and restaurants,” she said. “We wanted to match ourselves … It has a completely different vibe, a vibe we wanted to provide.”

Both Swaser and Huynh said customers have told them they are glad to have a nail salon downtown.

Donna Christlieb of Fargo has been a regular customer of Huynh’s nail salons for five years. She said she gets her acrylic nails filled every two to three weeks. “Of course in the summer you’ve got to have the pedicure,” she said.

She said the new Polished salon is what downtown needed.

“I love how downtown has come back,” she said. “I think it fits in well with all the other fun little shops.”

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Readers can reach Forum reporter Sherri Richards at (701) 241-5556