Clean, groomed, and victorious

Wherein Dana Cooper uses the word “shampoonery.”

Hi friends. Tell me, why do they even bother to print calendars? Of what relevance is the circadian cycle to those of us lucky enough to see the seasons from within fair St. John’s town? This very paper in your hot little hands may have hit the streets on the official First Day Of, but I personally have been feeling summer in the city for weeks. Particularly with the back of my neck getting dirty and gritty—but for that I think I know just the thing…

Who among us does not enjoy nice soap? It’s a simple thing, to be found in every home, and yet it can so easily be beautiful and special. Tvål Skincare, purveyors of nationally-lauded, Swedish-inspired, handmade natural soaps and beauty products have gotten so popular that they’ve just moved to a bigger shop in the old Royal Shoe Repair (next to O’Brien’s music) on Water Street. They opened for business on June 11, but plan to have an official grand opening in the near future—watch for signs in the window. Anna Hellqvist, co-owner, is very pleased with the new space, particularly as it gives them more working room for making their products.

Drop in one day and see what’s on the float.

Speaking of top of the line shampoonery, The Urban Hound pet salon and spa has you covered on the canine end. After studying dog grooming in BC, owner Julia von Rhedey spent three years working in Ontario, and did the dog show circuit through the States before making her way to St. John’s. Located on Duckworth Street east (across from Icons and KFC), the Urban Hound offers deep conditioning, massage, shampoo, cut and colour, nails, and even feline grooming – all by appointment only. It’s a cage-free salon, with individual dog runs, and they aim to provide a tranquil, quiet environment for our animal friends. Urban Hound works just a like a regular people-hair salon, with set appointment times, and owners are more than welcome to stay while their pets get their pretty on.

Y’know, a coat of paint and some sharp brick paneling can really make a world of difference. If you spend any time in the bars on the east end of Water Street, you probably already know what I’m talking about. Yes, just to one side of Solomon’s Lane, the Victory Tavern opened June 9th in the space that has been (whispering) The Spur since what seems like the dawn of time. There’s a lot of opinion floating around about this, which is only natural. That spot has been a mainstay for many of us since the day we first thought we could pass for nineteen.

The Victory’s owners, Ashley Billard and Theresa Wolokoff, have both been longtime patrons of the establishment, through its many incarnations.

“We didn’t want to change it too much,” said Billard, “but at the same time, we wanted to change the name and renew the property… We wanted to maintain a lot of what the old establishment had, back between ‘95 and 2000.”

No cover will continue to be a mainstay at the Victory, but in a dramatic break with tradition, they’ve improved the sound system. See, change is good! Billard and Wolokoff would like to see the Victory Tavern become a companion venue for the local theatre, arts and entertainment community, and also as a genesis space for new talent. They want us to be comfortable, they want us to come hang out, and they’ve got a lot planned, so let’s give it a whirl.•

Dana Cooper, Girl Friday
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