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Salon shut down after FOX31 investigation finds it operated without license

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.

Unsanitary Nail Salon

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.

6 comments

  • bouldernative28

    They should be charged with federal charges. Remember the story about the women cutting hair topless, she didn’t have a license for cutting hair. They charged her with federal charges.

  • John Doe

    You should be proud FOX31 and continue to brag about putting people out of work, Yes they need to clean up there act however, after your twist on the story you are responsible for people losing their jobs….WAY TO GO!!!!!!!

  • Terry Fails Vartanyan

    This is nothing but a ‘witch hunt!’ Wow, you let one person hide in the shadows and you really showed no proof of the issue. Hundreds if not thousands of people have been customer’s of Coco & 5th Avenue Salon for years. I live in Bonnie Brae, am very picky about cleanliness and have NEVER had an issue or seen anything of concern at either store. In fact, all the tools they use are sterile & they have to open a package to get to them. As a business owner, it’s amazing how 1 person can ruin a business. The shame is that you didn’t have the person step up and identify who she was. Yes, they should not have let their business license go, but this doesn’t indicate that they are dirty – they simply wouldn’t have the clientele they do if they were dirty.

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