Key Lime Pie Salon Closes in VaHi

The business had operated on Highland Avenue for many years.

Key Lime Pie, a longtime salon, spa and hairdresser in Virginia Highland, has shut its doors.

A piece of paper taped to the front door at 806 N. Highland Ave. says, "We are in the process of moving to a new location."

The paper didn't list the new location. The phone number provided as a contact gave a busy signal on several calls.

An employee at a nearby business says the spa cleared out on Friday.

Key Lime Pie was located next door to Ben & Jerry's, which closed in 2011. The closing leaves an extended amount of empty storefront space on North Highland.

PLD May 07, 2013 at 01:21 PM
Blame greedy landlords. So many of th ebusiness owners I speak to along this strip talk of huge rent increases. Many are just making it - if their rent triples, they have no option but to move or close. It may one wonder why landlords will drive out long term tenants and sit there with empty store fronts insttead of sitting down and talking with their tenants about a rent schedule that everyone can live with.
Scott B May 07, 2013 at 02:55 PM
I work in commercial real estate and live a mile up Highland. I do not understand what's happening on this strip. Is it as simple as what PLD is saying? That's the only thing I can think of. Who owns those buildings? They are getting very limited cash flow so it must be an extremely rich person or family. Reputable real estate groups I work with daily would not make decisions like this. There's a reason why Virginia-Highland is almost always fully occupied, Amsterdam/Highland as well and Morningside Village for the most part. The stretch between Dark Horse and Hand in Hand is terrible for the area. What does VHCL have to say about this or have done about it?
Jena Anton May 07, 2013 at 03:01 PM
Ben & Jerry's, Starbucks, Pura Vida, Aurora, and Key Lime Pie have all closed since I moved in. This is pretty worrisome for nearby property owners.
Voice of Reason May 07, 2013 at 04:43 PM
I am also in commercial real estate and live in the neighborhood. I suspect it is a combination of factors.As previously mentioned the high rent prices are likely a factor. The lack of parking is probably another factor. This has always been a problem but with the PA parking gestapo roaming the streets the last couple of years I believe patrons might choose to go elsewhere where they wont have to drive around the block 6 times looking for a spot or pay $5 to park or get a $50+ fine. Not a big deal if your clients all walk but I'd bet most of these businesses clients drive to the store.
A neighbor June 03, 2013 at 12:39 PM
Trust me...as a recent former employee, I can tell you all with confidence that the owner of Key Lime Pie was SEVERELY behind in paying her rent. Yes, parking was always an issue, and Park Atlanta trolls this stretch of street constantly, but the owner sealed her own doom. A supposed successful business that's been in the neighborhood for a long time can't blame poor parking or a greedy landlord for everything. The writing was on the wall before I left the salon earlier this year. In fact, it appeared the owner of KLP was so afraid of having items repossessed that she started clearing out furniture, merchandising fixtures, and decorative antiques months before the final move out.
Wren Hogwig June 13, 2013 at 11:59 AM
I worked there too. She was an awful person to work for, and treated clients in ways I've never seen. I left the beautiful Aveda salon that it was because her behavior bordered abusive, and went to a great clips (not fancy ast all, but sure is fun), and have never been happier. I don't blame the landlords in this case. Poor ownership= Poor customer service= no $$$$= no salon. Plain and simple economics there.
J July 05, 2013 at 05:02 PM
I am a former employee also, and the owner was pretty hard to work for. Our checks would come days late, and then we were under paid for all of our work. She seemed very scatter-brained and had no real loving attitude towards her work or employees that helped her keep this place open for as long as it DID last.
M July 13, 2013 at 08:14 PM
I also worked as a manager at Belly General Store and I have to say that the owner is truly a very bad person. She hires illegal aliens but will not pay them any overtime. Most of them work 6 days and 60 hours a week. Her legal employees she keeps on what she calls a "Flexible salary". What that measn is if the employee works more than 40 hours a week, they are considered salary, however if he or she works less than 40 hours a week, then they are paid hourly. Paychecks were consistantly days late and she would hold your very first paycheck for an extra 2 weeks, making it between 5-6 weeks before you were paid for any work you had done. You were not told this when you were hired and this put several employees in a position where they could not afford to quit because they were living very hand to mouth. When Belly general store received a low score from the health inspector, she made a member of the counter staff take down the new low score and put the higher old score back in its place on the wall. She seems to be a little bipolar and I witnessed her be VERY verbally abusive to more than one employee on seperate occasions. She takes advantage of people and their situations, and worse yet, she knows what she is doing is wrong, but she does not care. Like I said before, she is a truly bad person. Probably the worst human being I have ever had the misfortune of meeting.
M July 14, 2013 at 12:02 PM
I also was a former employee, a manager at belly general store. I believe that she was probably behind on her rent. Her scruples are in serious question. At Belly general store she paid her employees on what she called a flexible salary. This meant if you worked over 40 hours a week you received a salary, but if you worked less than 40 you were paid hourly. There were also some immigrant employees that would work more than 60 hours a week that never received any overtime
Lindsey Willy Williford September 20, 2013 at 11:00 AM
Does anyone know where Dee, the hair stylist, went to work after the salon closed? She was so amazingly great at cutting my hair and it's time for a cut!
Alexander Bellamy September 23, 2013 at 07:41 AM
Thank god, I found D! and key-lime's new spot. Same phone number: 404-873-6512 New Name: The Tutor Salon — by key-lime I think the address is: 1581 North Decatur Rd. 30307 D, owner of key-lime pie, opened a new Aveda Salon in the Emory Village. It's a smaller place, but beautiful of course, and has a smaller staff of really caring, committed stylists. There's no spa, but the whole experience feels so much more...personal...and caring. It's a great place and it's right next to some awesome food [rise-n-dine, bad dog taqueria, the oak and elm]. A lot more "community feeling" than the Highlands.
Barbara Baggerman November 02, 2013 at 02:40 PM
Still doesn't answer the question of what is up with this strip. What are they doing wrong that the other commercial sections of the neighborhood are doing right? Yes, parking is a problem that would preclude some businesses. But storefronts were full 10-20 years ago and there was no more parking then than there is now (although having to pay to avoid the PA gestapo is a definite deterrent). So what has changed? High rents? So lower the rent (law of supply and demand). Seems like some rent would be better than no rent. If high property taxes are an issue, seems like the fact that the space is apparently unrentable at high rates would be a good argument for a lower tax valuation. The only other explanation I can figure is that maybe the owner wants the block to decline and vacate so they can sell it and put up something big and ugly. That would be terrible. Our historic 1920s-30s storefronts are a significant part of the attraction of our neighborhoods.
Laura Ginn Coerper December 01, 2013 at 10:24 PM
This place has been giving me the runaround for months about a $180 massage gift certificate that they can't honor and won't seem to refund. Excuses every time if call.


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