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Between a rock and a soft place

Everybody musn't get stoned, but it's an option at men's salon's new Huntington Beach location.

October 15, 2013|By Rhea Mahbubani
  • Scott Griffiths, left, and Ron Love are the co-owners of 18|8 Fine Men's Salon at Bella Terra in Huntington Beach on Tuesday.
Scott Griffiths, left, and Ron Love are the co-owners… (Scott Smeltzer,…)

A notice taped to 10 stations at 18|8 men's salon reads: "It is now legal to get stoned at 18|8."

In smaller print, it continues, "Ask your stylist, what's the deal!"

When taken up on the invitation, co-founders Ron Love and Scott Griffiths explained that hot rock massages are part of the venue's offerings — along with haircuts, scalp treatments, shaves, facials and more.

"18|8 is the original formula for stainless steel," Love remarked. "It's 18% chromium and 8% nickel. We use it as a metaphor for transformation because we help our guests look better, feel better and perform better."

All the cutting tools are stainless steel as well, Griffiths said, adding, "We like to tell the ladies, 'Men get rusty; we get the rust out.'"

The nearly 1,500-square-foot space is part of a new wing being added to the Bella Terra Shopping Center in Huntington Beach. It joins Fantastic Sams, Happy Nails and Hue Aveda Salon in providing differently priced grooming services.

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In short order, Solita, Sweet XO, Eureka Burger, Nekter Juice Bar and Cotton Dry Bar will join the mix — as will 467 apartment units.

"We're building a community built around [the concept of] 'live, work and play,'" property manager Candice Amigable said about The Residences at Bella Terra.

"Residents that enjoy where they live engage with each other. They shop together. They dine together. With the addition of these new retail and restaurant offerings, we ensure they have a fabulous place to go."

With monthly rents beginning in the $1,700s, these homes are drawing discerning diners, shoppers and moviegoers who are quickly homing in on their favorite spots.

Amigable has noticed guests responding favorably to the launch of 18|8 while awaiting the other tenants.

"We see shoppers roaming by our soon-to-be opened stores, hoping to get a peek of what's to come," she said. "We love that they are as excited as us."

That very excitement is palpable among longtime friends Love and Griffiths, who launched 18|8 Fine Men's Salon in Pasadena in 2002 in response to what they identified as a void in the market for men. Since then, outposts have popped up in Irvine, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach and elsewhere in California, as well as New Mexico and Minnesota.

With eight corporate locations under their belts, they began franchising in April. Love estimates that between 85 and 100 franchises will be in development by the end of the year, growing to about 300 as 2014 winds down.

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