Renowned Paul Donnell Salon in Toluca Lake has a jazzy past

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By Laura Voeth

When Paul Donnell announced to his staff that he was retiring on April 1, 2000 and selling his salon, stylist Kimberly Erjavac thought it was an April Fool’s trick. When she realized it was no joke, she and her husband John decided to buy it.

The salon was a gem – rich in Toluca Lake history. Many celebrities had their hair and nails done there for premieres and red carpet appearances.

George Shearing, the brilliant British-born jazz pianist, previously owned the building and used it as his West Coast recording studio. From there, he could walk to the Money Tree, a popular restaurant and club down the street, and sit-in with the house band. The salon would be a perfect fit for the Erjavac’s as John is an accomplished jazz musician himself.

Paul Donnell Salon had its grand opening on March 28, 1982. The first signature in their guest book was that of his mother, Margaret, who had traveled from Oklahoma for the event.

The salon, located in the heart of Toluca Lake, was well respected, so when John and Kimberly took over, they wanted to keep the name. It wasn’t long before they remodeled the interior and exterior of the salon, being careful not to disturb its distinctive attributes.

The awning in front is part of the original architecture, as is the elegant brick wall bearing the “Paul Donnell” plaque. The atmosphere inside is clean and modern, but still comfy.

All the stylists are independent and have been handpicked by Kimberly. The salon offers an array of hair and nail services, including barbering.  Kevin Murphy products are featured, and you will find convenient parking behind the building.

Paul Donnell Salon is located at 10117 Riverside Dr. in Toluca Lake. For an appointment call (818) 762-3800.


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