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Chappaqua's Serenity Spa Owner Hears Criticisms

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. – Not long after officially opening Serenity Spa on lower King Street on Dec. 21, owner Jun Choi said his nail salon was met with resistance from a number of Chappaqua residents.

“I stand outside my store and people come up to me and say ‘why’d you come here? We don’t need you,’” said Choi. “It’s sad.”

Choi believed it was necessary to open a new store and expand his business because his other store, Venus Nails in Pleasantville, was hurt by an influx of competing nail salons that could offer more services than his smaller shop.

“We almost tried moving away to a different town, but my kids go to Pleasantville High School,” said Choi,. “I’m comfortable in the town, I like it in the town.”

Choi has lived in Pleasantville for over 17 years with his wife, Young. He has a son in tenth grade and a daughter in 12th grade at Pleasantville High School. Choi and his wife opened Venus Nails in Pleasantville on Jan 1. 1995.

With Choi’s Serenity Spa opening on King Street, the area now features three stores that offer similar services. The crowded nail salon market was even acknowledged recently by former President Bill Clinton.

“I’ve got nothing against real estate or nail shops,” said Clinton at a Dec. 9 book signing in Chappaqua. “But you want a diverse business environment.”

Despite the criticisms, Choi hopes that his salon will be given a chance by residents and fellow merchants. He said that while the businesses appear to be the same, the atmosphere and services are not.

“It’s not the same store in a different place,” said Choi, whose store is currently offering $20 manicure/pedicure combinations, as well as massages and facials. Customers are also provided with complimentary coffee and tea. “If people try us and don’t like us, it’s OK.”

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