Nail Bar combines service with social interaction

Published 6:00 am Sunday, September 4, 2016


When Christina Connell decided to open a nail salon 15 years ago in Memphis, what she didn’t want was it to be just like every other nail salon.

“I didn’t want a row of tables and pedicure chairs that just looks like a conveyor belt,” she said. “I wanted a conversation area where friends can sit and relax. They can have conversations with people sitting next to them, and really look forward to getting their nails done, rather than it just being something they have to do.”

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Connell opened the Nail Bar in Oxford in July on the Square, behind Simply Southern.

Nail Bar has a long bar, where customers sit on bar stools and the nail technicians do their nails from the other side of the bar. While no alcohol is sold at this “bar,” a glass of complimentary champagne or a mimosa are available with some nail packages.

Connell wanted the social aspect of a “bar,” where people are close together, rather than at separate table away from each other.

Coming to Oxford

While working at her Memphis location, she would hear people talk about Oxford and how she should open a salon in Oxford.

“A lot of the students would come to my place and push me to come see Oxford,” she said. “Once I did, I fell in love. It has that small-town feel. It reminds me of something you’d see on “Gilmore Girls.’”

When the storefront on the Square became available, Connell said she was “ecstatic.”

Her husband, Brandon, helped her build the bar and the furniture while her sister Amelia Nguyen and her husband Lance Whitmore helped design the Nail Bar.

“I couldn’t have done it without them,” Connell said.

Affordable prices

The Nail Bar offers a variety of manicure and pedicure packages, as well as full acrylic and gel nail sets, all for reasonable prices, Connell said.

“A lot of people come to Oxford and want to overcharge the students,” she said. “The average student can’t afford it if it was very expensive. We offer something for everyone.”

The cost for a basic manicure is $16.

“Those who want more luxury service, we have that as well,” Connell said.

The salon also offers manicures for men.

Your personal kit

Another difference people will find at Nail Bar is a lack of buckets and bowls of water.

“Our manicures are done at the bar with cuticle softener and then we put your hands in warming mittens,” she said. “Cleanliness is our biggest concern.”

When you sit at the bar, you’re given a kit that includes everything the nail technician will use on your hands or feet.

“You can bring it home with you, or we can keep it here in a box with a number and the next time you come in, you just grab it,” Connell said.

The Nail Bar is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday and is located at 107 S. 13th Street on the east side of the Square. Walk-ins are welcome but appointments are encouraged. For more information, call 662-238-6244.