Best spiffy spinoff

Nouvelle BeautyBar

So the next step after opening a successful Vietnamese fusion restaurant is to open a… beauty bar? Might seem unlikely, but it makes quite a lot of sense in the case of Thuy Le, owner/chef of beloved La V restaurant in downtown St. Pete, who this year took over the big space formerly occupied by Margarita Mama’s at the corner of 5th and Central and transformed it into a sleek, chic salon for mani/pedi’s, blowouts and other pampering. Best of all, there’s an actual bar in this beauty bar — your first drink’s on Nouvelle — and you can order lunch from, where else, La V? Women and men are equally welcome, the salon is spacous enough for bachelorette (and possibly bachelor) parties, and the cool, welcoming vibe is all of a piece with the hospitality La V aficionados have grown to love. 475 Central Ave. #101, St. Petersburg, 727-896-2700,

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