Skip to content

Midweek Mugging: HeadQuarters combining two art forms

HeadQuarters taking a hair salon and a restaurant and turning them into one business in the ByWard Market.

HeadQuarters is taking two very different businesses ideas, a hair salon and a restaurant, and merging them into one.

Located at 113 Clarence St., the business is a full-service salon on one side, and a restaurant and café on the other.

Aydin Kharaghani, one of the owners of HeadQuarters, said the idea came after learning how much coffee a typical salon goes through on a day-to-day basis. He said the coffee machine was broken when he went to get his hair done and after asking why he learned the salon went through 200 to 300 cups of coffee in a day.

The restaurant serves a brunch, lunch, dinner and cocktail menu. All the bread and desserts on the menu come from Ottawa’s local Art-Is-In Bakery. Kharaghani said it was designed to give customers a little bit of everything.  

“Some women are here for three to four hours in a given day,” Kharaghani said. “Let’s not have you sit here and get hungry and thirsty and all of the above. Let’s give you a full menu, cocktails, drinks, coffee, ice coffee whatever it is you want … it becomes more of a lunch date.”

While the two sides don’t seem to have many things in common, Kharaghani said food and haircuts are both ways people come together and have conversations.

“They call them hair therapists for a reason,” he said. “Women and men get their hair done and release all kinds of personal stories, get some advice … and coffee shops are kind of a meeting ground.”

Both cooking and hairdressing are artistic too, he said. Baristas can make latte art and hair stylists can create art with hair.

“The idea kind of stemmed from the ability to having something coexist but at the same time be separate. [Customers can] get a little of the hair and the food, which you never think can live together,” Kharaghani said.

The restaurant and salon side of the space are separated by a glass panel wall, meaning people eating can watch customers on the salon side get their hair done. The glass panels also ensure that the different smells of food and hair products don’t mix, Kharaghani said.

HeadQuarters opened in late 2017 after renovations to the space, which was previously leased by Canadian Rug Traders. The patio, which is covered in a layer of artificial turf, is wheelchair accessible and doesn’t require a step to get onto. Kharaghani said this is unusual in the Market and they wanted to comply with an upcoming accessibility bylaw before it’s implemented.

When the business was applying for a liquor license some residents living in the area raised the concern that the restaurant side would turn into another one of the nightclubs already proliferating the ByWard Market. Kharaghani said this was never the plan and since receiving a liquor license from the City of Ottawa the restaurant and café side of the business have not shifted in focus.

“As far as the liquor license goes, we're still a coffee shop," he said. “We’re still a restaurant, we didn't change.”

“We’re trying to create something people aren’t used to and that they’ll fall in love with….. We’re taking them out of their comfort zone by either having yourself be watched while having your hair done or watching people have their hair done.”

HeadQuarters is open Tuesday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Rogers Sports & Media
2001 Thurston Drive Ottawa, ON, K1G 6C9
© 2006-2023 Rogers Sports & Media. All rights reserved.
push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks