Ottawa Street — A Windsor Beauty Hot Spot

Xtra Nail Bar, 1284 Ottawa Street

HAVE A CUP OF JOE WITH JOE – Ottawa Street — A Windsor Beauty Hot Spot

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Women of Windsor (and yes, men too), let me introduce to you six businesses between Hall and Moy Avenues providing the absolute best in beauty care.

The most recent business, Xtra Nail Bar, 1284 Ottawa Street, officially opened its doors on August 25, 2020 in the midst of our current, business-threatening pandemic.

Xtra Nail Bar is owned and operated by two besties, Trish Austin and Patrick Ciliberto, who first met while working as hosts at Caesars Windsor.

Austin hails from Thunder Bay and has in her background: sports entertainment wrestling (yep you are reading this right, she was a wrestler!), licensed trapper, hunter, and fisherman.

Ciliberto is a native Windsorite and the son of Mike and Toni Ciliberto who are in their 42nd year as the owners of La Guardia Italian Cuisine, 59 Pitt Street East. He has worked in the family business, along with his brother Joe, who is being groomed to carry the torch once their parents retire.

Furloughed from Caesars Windsor because of the pandemic, the two friends spent endless hours doing all the grunt work in renovating a non-descript commercial space into something reminiscent of salons along Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California.

The interior décor is stunning. Austin has spent time in California and brings that experience to life on Ottawa Street.

In the basement level, local crafts artists ply their talents and their finished products are showcased for sale near the front entrance of the business. And Austin and Ciliberto are exploring the idea of possibly licensing the nail “bar” for more than just nails in the future.

Austin explains: “After opening we quickly grew into being more than just the nail bar but a medi-spa offering medical services such as skin rejuvenation, micro needling, microdermabrasion, hydradermabrasion, skin therapy, laser, resurfacing, body contouring, assisted weight loss, teeth whitening, and many other services. We have an RPN on staff performing these medical grade services.”

Scrolling through their extensive list of offerings (visit: XtraNailBar.com for all services) is like making your way through the 21 page / 250 item menu at The Cheesecake Factory!

Ciliberto saw this business venture as an opportunity to depart from the traditional business model of competing with others.

He states, “With our location near complementary beauty service businesses, we see ourselves cooperating with each other, rather than competing.”

To their left is Lash On, Wax Off (eyelash extensions and hair removal) and across the street is Glow & Co. (makeup artistry and spray tanning). Just a few buildings away in the next block is Salon-Brush with Ettore Salon & Aesthetics and POP Hair Gallery Ink, one block east.

Both Ciliberto and Austin are grateful for the warm welcome and support they have received from their neighbours. They are all working together on cross promotions and group giveaways.

This is the 11th business Austin has been involved with and she proudly points out, “Every one of them has had a philanthropic component to it.”

Xtra Nail Bar carries on that tradition.

Once a month they hold a “Miracle Manicure Day” when children, 12 years of age and under, can receive a $10 manicure, with all proceeds donated to a monthly designated charity.

Ciliberto believes this is a good networking opportunity with the wider community “who end up coming and visiting with us and with our neighbouring businesses.”

They have raised approximately $670 for the Windsor Youth Centre and purchased warm items, hoodies, jackets, blankets, and hygiene products for at-risk youth.

November 2020 was dedicated to Adopt A Vet to support local war vets in the area. Through the “Miracle Manicure Day” and online donation endeavours, $1,160 was raised for this organization.

Ciliberto smiles as he recalled the number of big, husky men who came out for manicures and pedicures: “One guy had his toenails painted pink and could hardly wait to get home to show his girlfriend!”

In November and into December, a large bin was placed at the front of Xtra Nail Bar and filled with lightly used winter clothing and non-perishable food and canned goods as part of Operation Keep Windsor Warm.

There was also a “Miracle Manicure Day” on December 13 as well with 100% of the proceeds to this cause. Four Operation Keep Windsor Warm bins, $364 and a full tote of food was collected!

Into early 2021, designated charities for Xtra Nail Bar include: (January) Hiatus House with a combined initiative with job coaching, clothing, hair and personal care to prepare for interviews; (February) Iris House and (March) Windsor-Essex Pride Fest, along with two other LGBTQ+ organizations.

Ettore Bonato has been the Chair of the board for five years of the Uptown Ottawa Street Business Improvement Association.

With over 80 businesses in this organization, he is thrilled to see Xtra Nail Bar set up shop on Ottawa Street.

“They are a perfect addition to the beauty service industry in their area and are doing so much for the larger community with their charitable projects,” Bonato expresses.

Reflecting on the growth of Ottawa Street in recent years, Bonato marvels at the mixture of the older businesses with the newer ones. And he notes that, “So many of the new business owners today are younger people who bring a real sense of adventure, excitement and exuberance to what they are doing.”

While Xtra Nail Bar may bring a touch of Rodeo Drive to Ottawa Street, the entire Ottawa Street vibe reminds Bonato of “The Beaches” neighbourhood in Toronto. I, for one, do not disagree with him.

In my opinion, both Austin and Ciliberto and their staff at Xtra Nail Bar have more than “nailed” it!

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Joe McParland
Joe retired January 2015 as a Superintendent from a 26 year career with the Canada Border Services Agency in Windsor. Since then he has jettisoned into a number of exciting new opportunities. Joe is in his 13th year as a volunteer with TVCogeco as their on air personality at Windsor City and Essex County Council Meetings, and his 11 years as a registered Ontario Marriage Officiant. Joe now shares his talents and numerous life experiences with Biz X as a regular blogger, columnist and any other “Joe – Jobs” we can find for him.