Who would have thought that an old hair salon could make a perfect pizza parlor? If you’re skeptical, you’ve got to try The Parlor in central Phoenix. Gone are the bobs and beehives from it’s beauty parlor past; now it’s a parlor for the palette, featuring fresh wood-fired pizzas, pastas, salads, and sandwiches. Sound cheesy? Not at all. This cosmopolitan eatery is very modern with an urban sophisticate feel that blends concrete floors, wooden ceilings and candlelit patios with concrete block decor that’s a throwback to the building’s past.
Some of the most fun memorabilia is actually in the restrooms. In the women’s room, an old-fashioned hooded hair dryer unit acts as a place to sit. In the men’s room, some of the salon’s old wallpaper was saved and framed into some very interesting art. Let’s just say it will make you do a double take. I wouldn’t know this except my female dining companion and I peeked inside when no one was there and found it very amusing.
What’s the story behind The Parlor? According to their website, the building originally housed the Salon de Venus — a mecca for bobs, beehives, and nearly six decades worth of “cutting edge” hair styles and spa treatments. The owners of the salon decided to hang up the sheers in 2007. Through some luck and good fortune, the Mei family was able to claim the space and begin dreaming up The Parlor. During the massive renovation, a large portion of the old building was demolished and repurposed into all of the wood elements found around the room, including the tables. The Salon de Venus lives on in the new and sustainably-built interiors.
Everything served at The Parlor is handmade daily, including all of the breads, pastas, and pastries. They also cultivate their own gardens and are actively engaged in the process of growing and harvesting ingredients. Many of the vegetables are grown by the owners and staff in offsite gardens.
My companion and I split a fresh, delicious salad, pizza, and a plate of pasta with enough to take home for leftovers. They also have a great drink menu with a variety of wines, beers and spirits. A happy hour menu is served from 3-6 pm daily.
1916 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix