Only the name has changed. If you have driven downtown in Riverside and passed 5 Longcommon Road, you may have noticed seems like a new beauty salon by the name of Salon Elia.

It’s not new. To set the record straight and dispel any rumors, only the name has changed at the salon originally known as Basili’s and most recently known as Pagani. Your favorite stylists Bill, Frank, Alisa and Theresa are still at their stations.

The history of the shop and its names go back to May of 1977 when Bill Paganis opened up the shop at its present location, naming it Basili’s, which is Greek for “Bill.” Because he learned his trade in Greece, the name seemed appropriate.

In November of 2007 Frank Paganis, Bill’s son, took over the reins of the salon renaming it Pagani, which the family believes may really be their last name as seen on a family plot in Greece. The “s” was added to the name to give it a Greek spelling.

This summer Frank Paganis decided he wanted to expand his interests in the hair industry but still be a presence at the Riverside location four days a week, so Bill Paganis took over the shop again.

Now to the name Salon Elia.

Elia means olive in Greek, and with Bill Paganis coming from Kalamata, Greece (we’ve all heard of Kalamata olives), he thought it would be a tribute to his birthplace, hence the name.

With the new name there have been some changes in the form of redecorating, which resulted in a new color scheme with more changes to come.

Bill, or you might want to call him Basili, is very excited about the shop’s soon-to-be new look and says he believes in the town and wants to invest in the community. The location, he said, is ideal. When those long trains come through and the cars are stopped, people can’t help but notice the shop, particularly when their window displays attract attention.

So now you know the story about the young man born in Kalamata, Greece who studied his trade in Greece, came here at the age of 14 and continued studying to become a color expert and open his own shop.

Well, it was all Greek to me, but now we all know the story of the name.