New on the market and just in time for Pride Month, this may well be the gayest house in Sarasota. It’s 50 percent residence, 50 percent beauty salon, and 100 percent fabulous.

It’s the home and business of Ray Peper and Richard Day, who have been operating the John Carl Spa and Salon for more than 20 years. They’re moving on to a well-earned retirement and are building a new house in the Rosemary District, which means this downtown classic is ready for a new adventure.

The bottom floor of the building (built in 2000 by architect Max Lassiter) is where many of the town’s most fashionable women have been coiffed, teased, colored and blown dry. The second floor is luxury spa stuff—I once had a mud bath there, plus a toenail trim.

The third and fourth floors comprise a very glamorous urban loft-style residence of almost 4,000 square feet, with high ceilings and large windows overlooking downtown. Here Ray and Richard have lavishly entertained as mainstays, pioneers almost, of Sarasota’s LBGTQ community. The European kitchen is particularly noteworthy, with its 14-foot-long island where the boys would lay out their famous Thanksgiving spread.

Ray Peper working on a costume design at a previous Iconcept event

Ray Peper working on a costume design at a previous Iconcept event

And tucked away is a workroom where Ray has created his famous costumes, spectacular concoctions that have brightened many a charity gala. Thrown together with sparkles and sequins, yards of chiffon and even a hubcap or two, they are witty works of art and have even been exhibited in museums.

The top floor has an office and a terrace complete with a hot tub and outdoor shower. And while it’s doubtful the glamour of the place will ever be duplicated, the building offers a unique live/work situation in a great location plus a vivid look into Sarasota’s gay lifestyle and affluence.

1345 Second St. is priced at $3.7 million. For more information call Mark Bower of SVN at (941) 544-0054.

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