Biz Beat

Aqua is back, minus the Shi

The Shi may be gone, but Aqua is set to make a splash.

The downtown Modesto hot spot formerly known as Aqua Shi is reopening with a new name, owners, menu and look.

Aqua Lounge & Bistro, 910 12th St., is throwing its grand reopening party Oct. 17. The previous restaurant, which closed in May after a failure to pay back taxes, was known for its sushi bar and Asian-fusion cuisine.

New Lodi-based owners Pete and Brandon Saavedra purchased the spot at the end of July. This is the father-son team's first restaurant venture; their previous work was in the machinery industry.

The Saavedras have remodeled the space with new paint, upholstery, tables, fixtures, lighting and decorations. The kitchen, which previously was open, is now closed off and the sushi bar near the entrance is now a bar.

Aqua Director of Nightlife Operations Everett Pope said the restaurant's menu is a more diversified array of casual-fine dining American cuisine. Former Aqua Shi executive chef Mauricio Lopez remains on board.

The bistro will be open 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Pope said Aqua's late- night lounge will change, as well. The club will be open 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday through Sunday. The venue is completing work on its dance permit and plans to have a rotating lineup of local and guest DJs four nights a week. The dining room will be turned into a dance floor after hours.

Pope said the dress code will be "fashionable, trendy." Jeans are fine, but no baggy pants, jerseys, hats or gang-related paraphernalia.

To kick off the new venture, Aqua has a splashy grand opening party planned featuring Playboy "2008 Model of the Year" and "Beauty and the Geek" season-five star Jillian Beyor along with Merced native and MTV "Real World: Sydney" alum Shauvon Torres.

The bistro will open at 4 p.m. Oct. 17 with the party starting at 10 p.m. Other grand opening celebrations will go on the entire weekend. Get on the guest list through Aqua's MySpace page at aquamodesto or e-mail

Elsewhere on the Business Beat:

Want to get beautified for Aqua's big opening? Or just for the sake of being beautiful?

Check out Modesto's Bronze Body Tanning Salon & Spa, 2900 Standiford Ave., Suite 3, and its new ownership.

Modesto resident Judy Loosli purchased the tanning salon in December after being a longtime customer. The shop has been in the same location in the Longs Shopping Center for some 20 years.

Loosli has added services including infrared body wraps and teeth whitening. The body wraps use a computer program to create customized treatments for everything from cellulite smoothing to calorie burning and more.

The shop also offers three UV-free, spray-on Mystic Tan booths, 10 tanning beds, nail technicians and a hair stylist.

The Bronze Body is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 571-8266. ...

Looking for a new do?

Check out Hairloom Salon in McHenry Village.

The shop recently switched hands to new owners Jerry and Sheila Sanders.

Hairloom, 1700 McHenry Ave., Suite 81, offers a full-service hair and nail salon with a remodeled interior. Owner Sheila Sanders has 38 years of experience in the field.

Hairloom is open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Call 522-5878.

Have an item for Business Beat? Contact Marijke Rowland at The Modesto Bee, P.O. Box 5256, Modesto 95352; 578-2284 or