After 12 years in business on , the owners of will say goodbye to Mattituck at the end of the month.
Owner Patrick Nguyen told North Fork Patch this week that his landlord plans to renovate and sell the historic building that he’s been leasing for Model Nails since February of 2000. Nguyen and his business partner and sister, My Nguyen, have plans to move into a space in downtown Jamesport that had been an antique shop next to Gloria Jewel.
“I’m upset to leave Mattituck, but we have to move on,” Nguyen said. “We’ve built up a nice customer base — it’s like family here.”
Nguyen’s landlord, Louise Totora, who runs a family-owned photography shop in Huntington, did not return phone calls inquiring as to why she was selling the building or what she plans to do with it in the future. Nguyen said that Totora has renewed his three-year lease since Model Nails opened, but she did not renew it this last time around.
Before Nguyen took over, the turn-of-the century building housed the, which is now located in a bigger space a few doors down. Long before that the structure was the and was located on Pike Street, according to the
Model Nails specializes in manicure, pedicure, spa treatments and artificial nails. Though Nguyen said that he’s lost a few customers over the years to a chain nail salon located in the Mattituck shopping plaza, he said that he believes his core clientele will drive the extra few miles to Jamesport for his skill and customer service.
“We do quality work, we always have,” he said.
Nguyen, a 38-year-old Riverhead resident, is originally from Vietnam and moved to the States with his family as a boy. Over the years he worked in several states as a nail technician — always for privately owned salons, never chains. He said he chose the line of work because it allowed him to travel, but when he started a family of his own, Model Nails allowed him to settle down and work in a place he loves.
“Mattituck really is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen,” he said.
Though the news from the landlord was surprising, My Nguyen said that the move is more sweet than bitter.
“You have to feel good about starting over,” she said. “There’s nothing you can do if your landlord wants to sell the building. So you’ve got to be happy and move on. Change is good.”