DENVER -- A Cherry Creek nail salon is closed after a FOX31 Denver Investigation.
CoCo Nail Salon, at 287 N. Columbine St., was operating without a license and had been for three years when we alerted state regulators to the problem.
We started an investigation into the salon after receiving a complaint from a woman who claims she was exposed to a hidden health hazard while getting a pedicure.
“It’s disgusting and embarrassing," the mother, who did not want to be identified, told us. "Around my toenail was super red and really sore.”
She said she went to CoCo’s for an $80 mani-pedi and walked away with a bacterial infection. A doctor diagnosed Paronychia and prescribed antibiotics.
“It just makes me cringe thinking about how disgusting it is,” the woman said.
The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, or DORA, inspects nail salons to make sure they comply with state health and safety standards.
But, we learned DORA did not inspect CoCo’s for at least three years. That’s because CoCo’s has not been licensed to operate since 2011.
The state issues post card warnings to businesses when their license is about to expire, but when CoCo’s did not respond, the state assumed the salon was no longer in business.
When we sent a FOX31 Denver producer into the salon with hidden cameras, we found the staff offering services, despite state regulations that prohibit them from doing so in an unlicensed salon.
CoCo’s owner, Bumsik Shin, told us on the phone, “I was out really busy doing something else and I totally forgot about it.”
DORA issued a cease and desist order earlier this month while it considers renewing Shin’s license. That process could take more than 30 days.
In the meantime that all comes too late for a Denver mom. “It’s not a $20 mani-pedi place. It’s a high end type of place … I don’t want other women to be exposed to it,” the woman said.
To file a complaint with DORA about a business, go here.
To search for a licensed manicurist or shop registration, visit Colorado.gov/DORA.