After a year's absence from Westport, the children's hair salon chain Sharkey's Cuts for Kids will soon return to town at Goodwill's former Post Road East site.
The new Sharkey's outlet is scheduled to open by early August in an approximately 1,200-square-foot space at 1572 Post Road East. It will principally serve girls and boys up to 14 years old. It will also offer cuts for adults.
The Post Road location will function as Sharkey's' flagship store and also include a training center for franchisees. The establishment will be the chain's first corporate-owned and operated outlet.
"We're very excited to be back in Westport and be owners of the flagship store," said Scott Sharkey, a Sharkey's co-founder and chief executive officer. "We're excited to be involved in the community again with parents and their kids. This store is going to have some extra bells and whistles that the others don't have."
Founded in 2001 by Sharkey and his wife, Linda, Sharkey's is a Westport-headquartered chain, which has opened more than 40 stores in the U.S. and abroad, and sold more than 245 franchises worldwide. Sharkey's operated an outlet in the Westport Plaza shopping center from 2004 until it lost its lease in April 2012.
"Since then, we've been looking for another location on the Post Road," added Sharkey, a Westport resident. "This location popped up, and it's ideal."
The new store will include blow dry-service, French braids, cornrow braids and extensions, hair and feather extensions, highlights, manicures and updos. In addition, it will feature events such as "glamour girl" birthday parties, where girls ages 4 to 12 will get their hair, makeup and nails done.
Sharkey's will be the first business to open at 1572 Post Road East since its previous occupant, Goodwill, relocated last year to a new building at 1700 Post Road East. Sharkey's will operate in a new building at the site, now under construction.
Before they step into the chair or while their hair is cut, customers will be able to test their gaming mettle on an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3. The consoles will be hooked up to 40-inch flat-screen televisions at each station in the store.
Sharkey's will also include a "Tween Lounge," which will be open to girls 9 to 14 years old.
Younger Sharkey's clients will be able to get a cut while behind the wheel of a toy vehicle such as a NASCAR race car, Barbie Mustang, Buzz Lightyear car, Dodge police cruiser, Ferrari F430 or Barbie Jeep.
The new store will employ about seven people, according to Sharkey.
Sharkey's' website lists several accolades for the chain, including honors from Nickelodeon Magazine for the No. 1 kids' salon in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Chris Buchner, owner of the neighboring ASF Sports outlet at 1560 Post Road East, welcomed Sharkey's arrival to the area.
"We're excited about them opening up," he said. "We see some similarities between our customer bases, so I think our businesses will really complement each other nicely."
email@example.com; 203-255-4561, ext. 118; twitter.com/paulschott