This is not going to be your usual preview of an eatery or hairdressers, so please
hair hear me out as this is of local, social, cultural and historical importance.
Last week I read a preview of a new pop up in Hackney and being a little long in the tooth, I don’t get awfully excited about pop-ups. What caught my eye was that it will be held at my old hairdressers in Dalston, The Business Hair Salon, owned by a lovely fella named Ron Foley.
Back in the day (the 80’s), Ron was da man (I’m sure he still is today) to go to for all things hair and the ONLY hair dresser that I felt catered to discerning young Black women locally anywhere within a 20 mile radius. Oh don’t get me wrong, there were enough local African Caribbean hair dressers, but my goodness many were seriously old school, heavy on the hair grease and just weren’t up to scratch. For a white boy, Ron Foley knows his way around Afro-Caribbean hair. His salon was the sort of place you met people and made friends or at least clubbing buddies, everyone knew everyone and the atmosphere especially on a Saturday was infectious.
That was the 80’s and 90’s. Fast forward to 2015 and Hackney is a much different place and that’s due to new and gradual Demographic changes and the fact that Black women no longer chemically straighten their hair as much as they use to. We’ve all gone back to being natural or wearing hair extensions, besides, Ron doesn’t do hair extensions on account of it being bad for our scalp and hair.
The mention in the Metro got me thinking of old times so I called Ron earlier this week to see how tricks was. Last time I saw him was in 2005 following my arrival back in Britain after a 15 year absence abroad. I went into the salon a cut and blow dry and haven’t been back since.
We talked about the changes in Hackney and he said: “Remi, it’s bizarre, just bizarre. Would you have ever thought it would become the area it has? I never did”.
Even he can’t believe the changes, but is happy to see it.
It’s worked out well for Ron Foley, other long-established businesses have folded and with sky rocketing rents, many are hanging on by the whites of their nails. Can you believe the LandLord of a tiny store front currently used as news agent, is asking for £60,000 per annum in rent? I digress.
Like a lot of things around here, Ron’s main clientele base has changed. Matt Day, (the whole reason of me writing such a long rambling prologue) has been a client of Ron’s for 10 years. He’s also a cheese ambassador for Costello Cheese. Matt’s resume runs the whole gamut in the food and hospitality sector including being a food, wine and travel writer, wine buyer and even a Sommelier for a Michelin star Restaurant.
After speaking with Ron, he developed a range of unusual, but delicious cheese canapés. Biscuit, cheese, chutney, topping paired to the perfect glass of bubbly, craft beers and ciders, small-batch champagnes and wines. The prices include two of the canapés with a large glass of the matching drink. The new ‘tasting menu’ at £25 includes any five of the pairings one canapé plus a small glass of the matching drink including Champagne.
Ron tells me has some exciting pans for the salon and other events, so sit tight for some announcements.
Matt has been kind enough to send over the menu and reminds you that haircuts are available at an extra cost!
£5.00 (Beers and Ciders)
Sheppy Falstaff Somerset Cider/Castello White on water biscuit with Tiptree Hot Goseberry Chutney and fresh pear
Meantime IPA/Castello Tickler Cheddar on brown bread with Tiptree Onion Relish and pickled onion
Liefmans Fruitesse Raspberry Beer/Castello Creamy Blue on rye bread with Tiptree Morello Cherry Jam and dark chocolate
Meantime Wheat Beer/Castello Marquis on lemon shortbread with Tiptree Lemon Curd
D’Gal Moscato d’Asti/Castello Halo on shortbread with Tiptree Rhubarb and Vanilla Jam and fresh strawberries
Guy Allion Touraine Sauvignon Blanc/Castello White on water biscuit with Tiptree Crabapple Jelly and fresh grape
Unite Dolcetto/Aged Havarti on melba toast with Tiptree Acacia Honey and Parma Ham
£10.00 (Vintage Champagne)
Artéis & Co Champagne Brut 2002/Castello White with Truffles on almond thins with Tiptree Heather Honey and raw mushroom
£12.50 (Rosé Champagne)
Arteis & Co Champagne Rosé 2007/Castello Marquis on melba toast with Pelegonia Aivar and Brindisa piquillo peppers
Matt Day’s cheese bar will run on the second and last Thursday of each month at The Business Studio, Dalston Lane, Hackney. Email Matt at [email protected] to book.