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Bar Tapas closes as hairdressers incorporates bar into salon

Brian Coombes of Savino & Coombes on his plans for the new site in Exchange Street. Picture: Brian Coombes

Brian Coombes of Savino & Coombes on his plans for the new site in Exchange Street. Picture: Brian Coombes

Brian Coombes

A hairdressers in Norwich is set to offer customers both shampoo and champagne, having taken over the previous site of Bar Tapas.

Inside the new Savino & Coombes salon. Picture: Savino & CoombesInside the new Savino & Coombes salon. Picture: Savino & Coombes

Savino and Coombes has bought the six-floor building in the city centre’s Exchange Street, and will be offering a gamut of new treatments – as well as hosting a bar on the first floor.

The move will see three treatment rooms built in the basement, with the long-term plan to be building apartments on the upper floors of the building.

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Mr Coombes hopes to return the building to its former glory. Picture: George PlunketMr Coombes hopes to return the building to its former glory. Picture: George Plunket

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Owner Brian Coombes said: “This is a building I’ve long-admired and I would love to fully restore. Before the pandemic we realised we needed more space and we signed just before lockdown. The situation with the coronavirus has been absolutely awful, but it was fortuitous for us because we have a much larger space.

“We’ve gone from having six chairs – which are rented on a self-employees basis by stylists – to having 20.”

The salon will take up two floors, with the upper having a bar for customers.

“The premises has already got a license as Bar Tapas was here. So we thought it’d be something nice to offer clients who are in here for a couple of hours having their colour done for example. They can bring a friend – when it’s safe to do so – and sit and have a drink at the bar,” he said.

“Obviously because of the lockdown a lot of salons have had to cut some staff, so we put out a call on social media saying ‘If you need a refuge, you can have one of our chairs’. What was lovely is that when we got the keys in June all of these people – some of which I had never met – turned up with a paintbrush to help renovate,” he said.

Mr Coombes, who has been a hairdresser for 23 years, added that his long-term goal was to eventually build apartments in the upper part of the building.

“That’s my absolute dream, and when I see old pictures of the building that’s what I want to return it to. It’ll be a long while off yet, but that’s the goal,” he said.


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