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Prized Penzone: Local salon named best in North America

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You won’t have to travel far—some of you may not to travel at all!—to visit North America’s best salon.

Penzone Salon + Spa in Dublin was named the Salon of the Year at the North American Hairstyling Awards held in California this past weekend!

status = SALON OF THE YEAR. 🔥PENZONE Dublin has been named Salon of the Year by the North American Hairstyling Awards!…

Posted by Penzone Salons + Spas on Sunday, January 27, 2019

Penzone Salon + Spa operates six salons throughout central Ohio, including a brand new location in the Short North. Their service menu includes hair, skin/makeup, massage, nails, and bridal.

Last year, the company marked its 50th anniversary with the reopening of its 14,000-square-foot Dublin salon and spa.

Scroll down to read (614) Magazine writer Olivia Miltner’s experience at the new and improved Penzone Salon + Spa Dublin.


The new Penzone is like stepping into a room that has collected everything millennial women are into. The salon and spa has plants growing on the walls, succulents decorating tables and health juices and energy balls for thirsty or hungry patrons. Local art hangs on the walls, they sell local beauty products, and sandwiches sit in the refrigerator. Crimson Cup coffee, with a special Penzone drink, is served in the “Social Room.” Basically, all it’s missing are cute dogs.

Of course, there are the typical salon and spa accents: around the corner are rows of almost every nail polish hue imaginable. A color station shows clients how dyes are mixed, the mirrors hint at taking an unfiltered selfie and shelves are filled with styling products. But these aspects don’t overshadow how much of a foil this location is to the “O.G.” Charles Penzone Grand Salon just across the parking lot.

The company, led by President and CEO Debbie Penzone, is trying to defy what many middle-aged women work hard to fend off: the wrinkles, dark spots and lost glamour of aging. On the eve of its 50th birthday, the salon and spa company that has always called Columbus home is completely revamping its identity, creating a Penzone that is younger, hipper and more closely aligned with the city’s style.

“It’s electric, exciting, all-inclusive,” Penzone said, adding she wants Penzone’s identity to include mindfulness and gratitude. “We are beyond beauty…How do you still continue to be your best self, and that’s really from the inside out, and the outside in.”

I haven’t been to a salon in over a decade, opting for a haircut twice a year at Great Clips and relying on drugstores for my clearly high-maintenance beauty needs. “Contouring” and “blowout” are not words that exist in my beauty toolbox. But, I have to say, sitting in the new Penzone location really showcased how the other half lives, and I could see how Penzone’s newest attitude could attract folks that would have never considered heading there in the past.

Penzone’s transformation has been happening gradually over the past few years. The opening of its new location was three years in the making, dating back to when Debbie first started visiting other salons and spas around the country looking for inspiration. When development on the new location was stalled due to a zoning conflict with the City of Dublin, she and her husband went ahead with two ideas that in the end paved the way for reinventing her company. First, Charles Penzone opened a barber shop, the Royal Rhino Club, in early 2017. With its 400-pound rhino-head statue mounted on a wall and signature cocktails crafted by Cameron Mitchell, the Royal Rhino attracts millennial men and women to its trendy Fourth Street location.

Later last year Penzone’s first yoga studio, LIT Life & Yoga, opened next door. The space hosts LIT Labs with themes such as “Harness your fear” and “This is me,” where all women rock their sports bras. Representing the company’s revitalized philosophy of holistic beauty and wellness, Penzone said she hopes the yoga studio and the salon and spa will help empower women and encourage them to love themselves inside and out, regardless of size, age, color or other characteristic.

“It’s fresh, it’s exciting. It’s all about community it’s all about being together and sharing experiences and moments, and empowering each other with those moments,” Penzone said.

All together LIT Life & Yoga and the Royal Rhino Club added a dash of urban youth to the brand that became infused in the latest concept: the new location has a patio where Penzone envisions host yoga classes for mindfulness and meditation and a women’s empowerment group.

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Penzone’s locations are a not-so-coincidental reflection of its clientele, and its hopes for expanding into the future. The original salon was founded by Charles Penzone, Debbie’s husband, in 1969. Since then, it’s grown from three artists serving a handful of guests to six salons serving more than 25,000 guests monthly. In its newest iteration, Penzone is evolving out of the suburbs and welcoming not just the suburban mom but also a younger, more diverse generation into its buildings. “We are on fire like Columbus is. I love everything I’m seeing in Columbus right now, that’s why we were so excited to go to Italian Village…That whole area is getting gentrified. I love it,” Penzone said.

The rebrand spans from the font it uses for its new name and its advertisements featuring “ideal clients,” AKA your average person, to its modern outlook on wellness and beauty. The concept will be rolled out at its various locations throughout the next few years.

“It’s not just your outer shell of beauty. You’ve got to be your best you and how do you find your unique beauty and live it,” Penzone said.

Accompanying these changes is an increased intentionality in design and detail. At the new location, the Beauty Zone is an area right in front of the main entrance that features a bar offering blowouts, makeup, skincare services and Beauty Labs to teach quests about trends and techniques. It’s a social area where everything is on display that doubles as a learning lab.

In the lather rooms, squishy neck pads are a fan favorite, and aromatherapy turns a guest’s shampoo into a multisensory experience, a theme throughout Penzone. Stylists have soft-close cabinets at their stations, and each chair is positioned just far enough apart so guests can only see themselves in their mirror. Floor to ceiling windows bring in natural sunlight and enhance a connection to nature that Penzone said the location was striving to strengthen.

The salon and spa is also expanding the services it offers, now with threading, hot rocks, and ayurveda. While having a dual mani-pedi, guests can choose to listen to a station through headphones, even with the option of working in some ASMR with binaural beats. Penzone even makes its stylists work under new names so that each person can easily be identified by clients. Two, Harley and Athena, were working at Penzone the day before it opened to the public in early May, and they both said they were excited about the new concept.

These changes don’t necessarily mean the cost of Penzone is going down; a trip to the salon or spa could easily run a guest over $100. But with all the options for personalization it now offers, Penzone is hoping guests will demonstrate why the company has been able to stick around for half a century already and is ready for 50 more.

For more about the rich history of PENZONE Salons + Spas and for locations near you, visit penzonesalons.com.

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Take a ride with local business Classic Ford Broncos

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Bucolic views of rural Powell, Ohio stream past at an impressive clip as the driver presses down on the accelerator. A throaty roar issues from the exhaust. We might be going 50 mph, or it might be closer to 70—for some reason, the lack of a roof on the vehicle makes it harder to judge. (That, and and the disorienting effect of my “rock ‘n’ roll” hairstyle whipping about my face in ever-changing directions.)

The truck is a rolling anachro-nism. By all outward appearances, it is a pristine, burnt-orange Ford Bronco in the classic body style of its first iteration, produced from 1966 through 1977. But from a glimpse
of the modern suspension components underneath and the aggressive sounds emanating from the tailpipe, and it’s clear something is not as it seems. 

Photos: Brian Kaiser

This Bronco is a “restomod” (a portmanteau of restoration and modification) of that first-generation Bronco. It is one of between 35 and 40 that Bryan Rood’s company, the aptly-named Classic Ford Broncos, will produce in a given year. Carrying a price tag of $200,000, it is also one of the most expensive terrestrial vehicles I have ever ridden in.

Like many things a man will do throughout his lifetime, Rood started selling old Ford Broncos because of a woman.  

“I was invited to the Kentucky Derby 10 years ago for a bachelor party. We were walking to the Derby with a group of girls that we met the night before,” Rood explains from his office in the Classic Ford Broncos facility near Powell. “There was an old Bronco for sale on the side of the road, and one of the girls thought the Bronco was cool, so I bought it just to try to impress the girl.”

Rood doesn’t elaborate as to what happened with the woman, but what became of that first Bronco set him on the path to a lucrative career in the automotive restoration game.

Upon returning to Columbus with the truck, Rood could not take it out without entertaining unsolicited offers of purchase. Eventually, he hit upon a deal too good to pass up, selling the Bronco which he initially purchased for $3,500 to a buyer at $8,000.

It occurred to Rood that if he could achieve this kind of return on an old Bronco, maybe he could repeat his success with another. It followed that if people would pay for an unrestored Bronco, maybe a fresh coat of paint and a tune up would up the ante.

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“When I first started messing with them, I was selling them for under 15 grand,” Rood explains of his fledgling business. “It’s not that they weren’t popular, there was just a very different following for them back then. They were kind of a mud truck, or just a cheap, old, beat-up farm truck that some people thought were cool.”

Within a year, Rood had hired a full-time mechanic. Ten years on, his company employs a staff of around 15 in a 10,000 square-foot facility—the largest Bronco restoration shop in
the country.

The approach to the Broncos themselves has also changed considerably over the years, moving from restoration of engine parts, interiors and paint to all new custom bodies built in-shop, nestled on a classic Ford Bronco frame with modern performance drivetrain and suspension components included.

In keeping with advances in his process, Rood’s clientele has also changed over the years. He now marks major-league athletes and captains of industry among those for whom he’s built a Bronco. On the day I visited his operation, his crew were working on a tasteful sage green Bronco commissioned by Kelly Clarkson. 

“Almost exclusively, they’re going to beach towns or lake houses,” says Rood. “It’s the ultra-high net worth clientele that are buying these things, because Jeeps aren’t cool enough.”

The Broncos Rood and company create are a statement piece—a summer-home vehicle for the finance set who can drop 200k on a weekend toy without batting an eye. Despite the hefty price tag, Rood explains that the owners of his restorations aren’t afraid to get his creations dirty, even if farm-field mud is swapped for sand from beaches in the Hamptons.

Undaunted by the sticker price? Interested in grabbing one of Rood’s Broncos? You’ll have to get in line—at any given time, he has a list of 25-30 customers in contract. You’ll also need some cash, as you can’t finance one of Rood’s creations—it’s a cash deal, with a 10% deposit due up front as a show of good faith.

And don’t believe for a second that your $200,000 buys the right to dictate every aspect of the build. With most of his business coming via word of mouth, Rood sees his Broncos as rolling billboards for his company. There are some things he simply will not do. No 20” rims, no wacky interiors—not at any price.

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The most charming B&B is just 4 minutes from Bethel Road

Regina Fox

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Nestled on a quiet private property just four short minutes from the bustle of Bethel Road is the most charming B&B I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing.

It was a cool and rainy day in June when my mom and I pulled into the winding driveway of Timbrook Guesthouse. Jill Dole, the owner of the property, greeted us at the door with exceptional warmth and lead us up the stairs to the most-requested room at the B&B: The East Wing Suite.

My mom and I dropped out bags and started exploring. Coming from a studio apartment in Olde Towne East where my 6’x6′ bathroom functions also as a closet, storage facility, and laundry room, I crushed on the massive soaker tub. We investigated all the room’s trinkets and cubbies, remarking things like, “Oooh, look at this!” and, “Wow, this is so cool!” The textures of the Cherry wood bed made me want to sink right in for the night, but there was much to see.

Our room was adjacent to one that offered comfortable chairs to sit and admire a view of the property below. This room was also filled with interesting horse riding equipment, like saddles and bags slung over the ceiling beam; a box of life lessons and advise; bird, nautical, and other unique tchotchkes; artwork of all different subjects and mediums; and plants that looked like they could be older than both my mom and I combined.

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Items like these littered every room in the house—to the downstairs living room, to the foyer—in the most perfectly way, offering an insight into the tastes and travels of the Dole family. Strolling through the B&B was really like taking a journey through an antique mall of family artifacts. Whether it was about the hat collections or decades-old pieces of furniture, my mom and I never lacked something to gab about.

Despite the steady rain, we ventured outside to admire the thriving gardens. All around the 4-acre property, healthy foliage springs from the earth. My mom identified the flowers—bleeding hearts, hydrangeas, peonies—as I listened carefully for the telling “squawks” of these parrots I’d heard so much about. And then, we heard it.

Jill protects the birds in the garden barn during inclement weather, which is exactly where we found the five colorful birds. Using their beaks and claws to travel across the enormous cage, all the birds wanted a front row view of the new strangers. They were so curious! They flapped, flared their feathers, and mimicked our laughing, even after we left the garage. Truly a hoot…er, squawk.

Unfortunately, the rain prevented us from taking advantage of the hot tub and pool, but it didn’t stop us from admiring them. The vibrant ellipse-shaped swimming pool might just be the most beautiful swimming pool I’d ever seen. And with the landscaping around the hot tub, it’s like a true exotic spa escape. Next time.

Another one of Timbrook’s crown jewel amenities is a greenhouse filled with tropical trees and orchids. An intoxicatingly sweet smell it us like a ton of, well, orchids when we entered the plant sanctuary. The sizable greenhouse is filled with tropical plants, both big and small, plus garden ornaments hidden like cute easter eggs throughout.

My mom and I ended our night by wrapping up in the warm Timbrook robes and having a living room picnic by the light of the fire.

The smell of bacon (and my alarm) woke us up. We opened the door to the balcony and talked about how wonderful it’d be to start each day with a sunny outdoor patio.

After inquiring about our night’s sleep, Jill served up fruit smoothies followed by blueberry pancakes and bacon. The great food was made even better with the garden-themed dishes and low music that filled the breakfast nook. If the Timbrook does one thing well, it’s attention to detail.

It was hard living the cozy abode, but, after having such a lovely experience, I felt a little bit better knowing I’d be back.

Timbrook Guesthouse is located at 5811 Olentangy River Road, 
Columbus. To learn more about the B&B and inquire about booking, visit timbrookguesthouse.com.

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Indie darlings Bon Iver suit up at Pursuit

Mike Thomas

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“I’m up in the woods, I’m down on my mind. I’m getting a suit custom-tailored at a Columbus-based men’s clothing company?”

Members of Bon Iver, the Grammy award-winning project of outdoorsy frontman Justin Vernon, were recently outfitted with some new duds during a stop at the Cincinnati location of Columbus-based Pursuit. The visit, which came during the band’s tour stop in the Queen City, was documented in a video uploaded to Youtube:

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Maybe Vernon and his crew will stop by the original Columbus location when the tour comes to the Schottenstein Center on October 8!

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