The name may be changing on the outside, but inside the landmark salon in downtown Riverside the last name of the owner will be the same.
Ownership of Basili’s Hair and Nail Salon is shifting from father to son. As of Nov. 3, the business at 5 Longcommon Road will be Pagani Hair Design of Riverside.
“I am not retiring!” Bill Paganis, owner of Basili’s, wants to make clear. “I’ve been a boss long enough. Now I get to work with someone different every 45 minutes without the burdens and obligations of ownership.” Bill Paganis, who has been working in a salon since he was 14, will stay on as a colorist and stylist.
The new owner, and Bill’s soon-to-be boss, will be his 37-year-old son, Frank Paganis, who’s no stranger to the business or the neighborhood. Frank Paganis – also a stylist, colorist, people person, showman and North Riverside resident – owns and runs Pagani Hair Design of Oak Park.
Father and son are proud of the skills they bring to their clients. Customer service is a big talking point for both men. At Basili’s on a recent Saturday afternoon, Bill Paganis took time to greet each customer by name and take her coat as she came through the door. “It took more than just a few prayers to keep the doors open for 31 years,” Bill said after hanging up a coat.
Frank Paganis cited his father’s emphasis on customer service as a key lesson he learned growing up, “You need to give a client what they need to feel comfortable.”
In the salon’s makeover, the specialty will be hair services. Frank Paganis, a student of the cutting edge who prides himself on bringing East Coast style to the Midwest, is a name dropper, with credibility. “Salons like Frederic Fekkai don’t even own foil!” Frank says, touting highlighting techniques he’s learned from having trained with industry leaders.
Frank Paganis plans to offer only haircuts and color, not the full service hair and nail salon that Basili’s was known for. Stylists and colorists from Pagani Hair Design of Oak Park, including Frank, will spend part of their week in Riverside. The other change is that children’s haircuts will be available on Saturdays only. Frank Paganis, a father of five, understands that this change may not go over favorably with all of Basili’s clients, but he puts it this way: “We choose to not allow kids the rest of the week as a means of honoring a mom or a dad who’s had a long day…to give him or her a chance to relax.”
Each Paganis has his celebrity clientele, but both are mum about their sought-after talent. One local name we’ve verified as a Basili’s regular is Landmark columnist Joanne Kosey, a fan of Bill Paganis.
“Bill is the second most important man in my life. You don’t argue with a man who puts scissors to your head,” says Kosey, who, when not joking, raves about Bill Paganis’s involvement with the community.
“Bill is very modest … and does it quietly. He very seldom says ‘no.'”
So one aspect of the salon that won’t change is the placement of Halloween window paintings. Always glad to offer donations and be a willing member of the community, Bill Paganis made it clear that allowing elementary students to annually decorate the windows is a tradition that must continue even under Frank’s ownership.
To celebrate the grand opening of Pagani Hair of Riverside, join Frank Paganis, Bill Paganis and their staff at the salon on Saturday, Nov. 7, at 7 p.m.