It was two years ago, almost to this day that Lisa Martineck and her husband purchased 220 Franklin Street. The building was perfectly suited for the future home of Capello Salon and Spa, although at the time, the building was a wreck on the inside. But Lisa could envision the big picture – a stunning salon and full spa on the first floor, with three modern apartments above. Fast forward a couple of years, and that vision has become a reality.
Capello Salon is nothing short of jaw dropping. Not just for its cosmopolitan feel, but for the services that it provides. Lisa has managed to create an atmosphere that is unlike anything else in the city of Buffalo. She has taken her years of experience as a salon owner and forged a 4000 square foot salon and spa that seems to go on forever. There is a line of stylist stations in the front of the space (cuts, coloring extensions, etc.), while the back features a number of rooms dedicated to manicures and pedicures, waxing, a plethora of massage and reiki treatments, facials, microdermabrasion, eyelash extensions, a locker room, waiting area, makeup stations, a range of day spa packages, and full bridal services. To tell you the truth, it’s a bit unusual to find a place that offers so many body pampering services in the city.
From the start, Lisa’s plan was to build something that she felt didn’t already exist in Downtown Buffalo. “Capello was my first career job ever,” she told me. “I started working at Capello in The Hyatt years ago. Eventually I partnered with the owner, and then bought him out. Then I moved the salon to The Avant. But I knew that I wanted to create something completely unique, and the only way to do that was to buy a building and build it out the way I wanted. We looked for a long time – it was the parking lot and the square footage that ultimately sold me on this location. I understand that this building was originally a cash register factory, and I believe that there was a nunnery upstairs. By the time we got a hold of it, it looked like a crack house – the place was a mess. It had been abandoned for six years, so we basically started from scratch. We opened the place up, enlarged the windows to get more natural light inside, and began to create something that was modern, yet incorporated softer wood and natural textures where appropriate. My designer Timothy Aaron decorated the interior with modernized antiques – I think the combination of new and old worked out well.”
Upon moving from The Avant to the vast building, Lisa doubled her number of employees from five to ten. Not only has she managed to retain most of her clients during the moves, she has also been finding that a new wave of downtown dwellers are seeking her out. After all, Capello’s name preceeds itself. All of the locations in WNY work together and retain the same philosophies when it comes to salon and spa services. At the same time, each location expresses its own creativity under the Capello’s umbrella.
For example, while Lisa stocks Capello’s brand products, she also carries a number of other product lines. She also organizes a number of events throughout the year that she says are truly unique to the downtown location. She hosts in-house make-up parties, for one. And she is planning on teaming up with the gals from Lace & Day to host a lingerie event. She has also ‘macgyvered’ the salon furniture with rollers, so that the floor can be cleared for yoga classes or other on-the-fly events. The focus is to be creative and have fun, while offering professional atmosphere for beauty and spa services.
Lisa has been building her clientele since 1991. In that time she has managed to provide an array of services for women, men and even children. “I have long-standing client families who are happy that I am dedicated to Downtown Buffalo,” Lisa mentioned. “I can’t wait for The Curtiss Hotel to open next door. I have a feeling that we will be getting a lot of people stopping by during their stay. There’s a perfect match – I would like to work with them in the future, to offer spa lunches or packages for visitors. Once the hotel is up and operational, we will be open seven days a week to service the increased traffic in the neighborhood. It’s one of the reasons that we built out the three apartments upstairs – this neighborhood is becoming a vibrant place to live, mainly because there are now more services and restaurants to walk to.
“It’s becoming a real neighborhood. Tenants living upstairs get a discount on salon and spa services, and will be soon able to walk next door to the Curtiss Hotel to eat and drink, or Patina 250, SEAR, etc. The three apartments (currently for lease*) have off-street gated parking (two spaces – one in garage), bamboo flooring, energy efficient windows, subway tile finishes, European high end cabinetry, electric fireplaces, full size kitchens… and the apartments overlook the action at The Curtiss Hotel and elsewhere.
“We’re leasing the two-bedroom apartments for $1950. We wanted to create living accommodations that would appeal to someone moving from Chicago or NYC. It’s the same with the salon and spa. We’re very proud of what we have built here in Downtown Buffalo. We are excited to be part of this driving force that we see all around us.”
*For info on apartments, contact Jake Warner @ Gurney Becker & Bourne (716) 860-4704