Corridor Update

Corridor Update

Compiled by Lori Hutzler Eckert


Tim Creehan, local chef, author and owner of Destin’s Tim Creehan’s Beach Walk Café, Creehan’s Copper Grill and Creehan’s Ultimate Kitchen, was invited for the third consecutive year to participate in the 12th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World last fall. Creehan was selected as a feature chef at the event’s Party of the Senses.

Howard Group recently opened a Panera Bread restaurant at its Silver Sands Factory Stores in Miramar Beach and J. Crew at-the-beach, Sanctuary Clothing and Southern Waters Outfitters retail stores at Grand Boulevard at Sandestin.

Destin Commons, the open-air lifestyle center located at Mid-Bay Bridge Road and U.S. Highway 98, recently announced that all retail and restaurant outlets and offices at the center will feature free-of-charge wireless technology.

Destin Health & Fitness Club opened in December on Commons Drive West in the heart of Destin. The state-of-the-art, 13,000-square-foot facility offers a complete range of fitness services in a family-friendly environment.

The Walton Area Chamber of Commerce named its annual Excellence Award winners at a luncheon ceremony held in December. The Excellence in Leadership Award was presented to Florida state Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, and the Excellence in Business Award was presented to Mike Stange, senior vice president of hospitality management for Intrawest/Sandestin.

The Florida Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry recently presented Dennis W. Lichorwic, DMD, founder and owner of the Destin Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, with two gold medals for his 2007 Smile Gallery entries at the organization’s 2007 Annual Scientific Session & Trade Show, held in Lake Buena Vista, Fla …  Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort recently was selected by meeting planners from across the nation as a recipient of the 2007 Award of Excellence by Corporate & Travel Incentive magazine for the fifth year since 2002. The award recognizes resorts that have best served corporate meetings and/or incentive travel executives and planners over the past year … Zampieri’s Harbor Grille in Destin Harbor recently was honored with a Golden Spoon Award, which is presented annually by Florida Trend magazine …  The Soho Salon & Studio in Destin recently won second place in the Frederic Fekkai Stylist Workshop Contest … Alys Beach, a New Urbanism resort development located on County Highway 30A, recently was designated as the location of a home that captured the American Institute of Architects’ Chicago Design Excellence Award for Environmental Sustainability. The courtyard home was designed by Farr Associates of Chicago.


Avantgarde Opens Cutting-Edge Salon and Spa in Destin

By Lori Hutzler Eckert

Avantgarde, one of the largest hair salons on the Emerald Coast, recently relocated to a new custom-designed, eco-friendly facility in Destin.

The salon, located on U.S. Highway 98 near the entrance of the residential development Destiny East, is the result of a more than $500,000 investment and a two-year construction project for owner Joseph Rogers. The longtime Emerald Coast businessman and award-winning hair stylist said the 4,200-square-foot building offers double the space of avantgarde’s former Destin location of nine years.

The full-service salon and day spa features 10 stylist stations, a double manicure-pedicure suite, multi-purpose rooms for massages and facials, locker rooms, a decompression room and a central booking room to handle customer appointments.

Rogers hired c l porter design inc. of Tampa to oversee the modern design of the facility, which centers on a tranquil theme, with pure whites and the calming colors of the ocean.
The nationally recognized design firm used sustainable, “green” materials, featuring reclaimed wood, recycled glass – including countertops made from bottles of Aveda hair care products – and environmentally sound details such as bamboo decorative accents and energy-efficient lighting.

“We are constantly looking for ways to grow and improve, as a business and as individuals,” Rogers said. “As an Aveda Lifestyle Salon and Spa, we try to promote healthy living, which includes our environment.”

The focus on building green carried over to offering customers options that promote a healthy lifestyle.

“We are expanding our spa services to include multiple Aveda patented services that use the philosophy of ‘high touch, not high-tech’ to achieve more natural results,” Rogers said.

In the near future, Rogers plans to add new and innovative services, including private yoga sessions and Shirodhara, an alternative Ayurvedic healing practice in which warm oil is poured on the forehead for an extended period of time.

Avantgarde also recently opened a second salon in Destin Commons lifestyle center. That location, along with the opening of the flagship salon, are solutions to what Rogers referred to as his “biggest obstacles to overcome.” The expansions allow avantgarde to offer “more booking options to accommodate customers’ personal schedules and a more comprehensive pricing menu that includes every price range,” Rogers said.