Folks across the city are back in the chairs of hair and nail salons again—because while grooming at home has its ease, there’s something to the ritual of being pampered by someone else. Salons everywhere are finding innovative ways to treat customers to an afternoon of self-care while keeping their safety in mind.

Lili and Cata, a non-toxic, vegan nail salon in Greenpoint, reopened its doors back in July when allowed by the state—but with an additional, outdoorsy business model. While it is still taking a few clients a day in its indoor space, it’s expanded the salon into its spa-like backyard.

With outdoors feeling like the safest option these days, co-owner Lilly Rojas, who opened the salon with her husband Jorge Rojas, set up a spa environment out back with ivy walls, plants, plush reclining velvet chairs for their waterless pedicures, and manicure tables.

backyard salon


Courtesy Lili and Cata


The backyard was always meant to be apart of the business when they opened their salon last year, but times of social distancing pushed them to open the al-fresco space sooner.

“People are now finding us and coming from all over the city, just to get their nails done in our backyard,” explains Rojas.

Lili and Cata was built as two businesses in one, with an onsite cafe-bar. Customers can kick back with booze and snacks during their pedicure, manicure or massage. On the menu the cafe serves up pastries from Brooklyn-based vegan bakery Brooklyn Whiskers, best relished with a cappuccino or coffee, as well as a boozy list of wine and beer. 

Inside Lili’s salon, which looks like a greenhouse with floor-to-ceiling windows, three manicures (instead of 8) and two pedicures (instead of 4) are allowed at one time, with plexiglass partitions set up. Temperature checks are required at the door for both inside and outside services.

As of now, Lili and Cata will be offering their outdoor services through October. 

Lili and Cata is located at 72 Greenpoint Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222.

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