King’s Nails on Upshur getting a makeover this winter

King's Nails owner Hoanh Thi Pham standing outside her store.

by Yuliya Panfil

King’s Nails on 832 Upshur Street will get a makeover and perhaps a new name this winter, according to the salon’s owner, Hoanh Thi Pham

Ms. Pham said she will close the nail and waxing establishment for about a week after the New Year to overhaul the aging décor and furniture. Changes include a new wax room, renovating the bathroom, replacing the ceilings to cover an exposed vent, fresh paint, replacing chipped manicure tables, installing wifi, and sprucing up the store front.

The renovation may also include a name change, though Ms. Pham is still on the fence about that one.

“I say leave it the way it is,” chimed in longtime customer Bobbie Walters, as I was talking with Ms. Pham about the name change. “King is good. It’s easy to remember.”

Ms. Walters said she’s been coming to the salon for years, both for the quality of the gel manicures and also for the nice staff and attentive customer service. Ms. Walters didn’t see much need for upgrading, she said she prefers things to stay the way they are, low key and not overly fancy. 

But Ms. Pham said the salon is due for a serious upgrade, as she hasn’t renovated since she took over the salon nine years ago.  

“Look outside, at the other stores,” Ms. Pham said, eyeing the strip of trendy bars and restaurants that populate the 800 block of Upshur Street across from King’s Nails. 

With other stores stepping up their game, Ms. Pham said she feels pressure to modernize in order to win new customers who are moving into the neighborhood. The salon was largely empty at 4pm on a Tuesday, save for Ms. Walters and another customer getting a pedicure. Ms. Pham said winters are generally slow, which is why she is choosing this time to remodel, but added that she expects the cosmetic upgrades to spur new business.

“If we don’t remodel, the salon will stay just so-so,” she said.