Harrisonburg barber shop prepares for 30-day closure

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — After Tuesday night, barber shops and salons around the commonwealth of Virginia will be closed for the next 30 days after Gov. Ralph Northam mandated on Monday closures for non-essential businesses that can't feasibly provide social distancing, like barber shops and massage therapists.

Rodriguez said he's heard from barber friends in New York about their situation and was prepared for it to happen in Virginia too.

Ed Rodriguez, with Downtown Barber Shop in Harrisonburg, said he and his coworkers were not totally surprised by the announcement, but it's a way they've never really operated before.

"I've talked to the owner and he said this was all new to him and he's been barbering for 50 years and he's never seen anything like this," Rodriguez said.

Tuesday afternoon, their shop had a constant flow of customers as everyone was trying to get their last cut in for awhile.

"I just came to get a haircut while I still can, they're open till 8 p.m. today, so I had to get it in before they shut down for 30 days," Sam Buscher, a customer, said.

Rodriguez said like many other businesses affected by the spread of COVID-19, he's worried but is lucky enough to have something saved for days like these.

"You know. it's like anything with this industry," Rodriguez said. "You have high and you have low times, so when it's good, you put it away."

He said he understands the Governor's decision and in recent weeks, the shop has increased their cleaning procedures like many businesses around Virginia.

For many coming in the door Tuesday, they say they didn't need a hair cut just yet but wanted to be able to support a downtown business before not seeing the barber pole spin for a while.

"It's important to come out now, buy a gift card, and do whatever you can to make sure we keep this place open when they come back, " Buscher said.

Rodriguez said for downtown's oldest barber shop, this is not a goodbye, but a 'see you soon' as they hope to be ready to give you a fresh cut by the end of April.

"We are all in this together and so we'll get through this," Rodriguez said. "Once the governor gives us the green light, we'll be back in business ready to shave and cut hair and whatever services you need."