Salons, restaurants open with care

N' Style Salon owner Tiffany Friedman. Dan Watson/the Signal
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As “Safer At Home” restrictions are eased, businesses in the Santa Clarita Valley begin adjusting to their “new normal.”

At N’ Style Salon, customers now get their temperatures checked at the door, sit in chairs with plastic barriers separating them from the next station and get their hair cut while wearing masks, according to owner Tiffany Friedman.

“It’s the standard regulations, everything from the (Centers for Disease Control),” she said. “We log every name, date, time and temperature, and ask them a process of questions, especially if they’ve been traveling outside L.A. County.”

Even with all the new restrictions, Friedman said reopening has been great.

“The clients love it,” she added. “They’re so thankful we’re open. They talk about their (quarantine) stories, how bored they were. A lot of people don’t have families out here, so their hair stylist is really a friend to them.”

Stylists Jared Smith, center, and Emily Clemmons wear masks, face shields and gloves and are separted by a vinyl curtain as they work on customers wearin masks at N’ Style Salon in Santa Clarita on Friday, June 26, 20. Dan Watson/The Signal

While the salon opened the very same day the restrictions were lifted, Friedman had been ready for weeks. 

“I had everything done the first week they closed us down,” she said. “I ordered Barbicide, alcohol and four cases of gloves. I stockpiled a little bit because I was worried about the supply (down the line).”

While they planned to be busy, the reopen has been better than expected. 

“Rebound has been crazy, which is really weird,” Friedman said. “We thought we’d just have our normal clients back, and we went through the first four weeks of that, but now there’s all these new clients calling.”

The salon is excited to be serving its clients, while being “extra clean and extra safe,” Friedman added.

As the pandemic hit, C’est L’amour Nail owner Van Ngo was preparing to open his third and fourth locations in the SCV, one at Skyline Ranch Plaza and another in Old Town Newhall.

Twenty-year veteran stylist, Terri Benedict washes a costumer’s hair after choosing from a vbariety of shampoos at N’ Style Salon in Santa Clarita on Friday, June 26, 20. Dan Watson/The Signal

While those additions are still in the works, now Ngo is simply excited to welcome his clients back to his two current salons, which were reopened on June 22 after being recently remodeled to take advantage of the closures.

“We really are just trying to follow the guidelines exactly,” Ngo said.

With barriers between each client, along with employees wearing all the necessary personal protective equipment, for Ngo, it’s been limiting the salon’s capacity at 50% that has been most difficult. 

“We’re taking appointments only right now, and we’ve been very busy, so yes we’re reopened, but it’s still been difficult due to the capacity, and I don’t know when it will go back to normal,” Ngo added.

Since restaurants were given the green light to reopen in early June, Azul Tequila Mexican Grill has reopened its dine-in services, though they continue to offer take-out, according to owner Rafael Cermeno.

“It’s been slow, but it’s coming along little by little,” Cermeno said. “We get a little rush at lunch and at dinner.”

Stylist Lisa Lannin, right, works at her station with customer Shawnee Flapper at N’ Style Salon in Santa Clarita on Friday, June 26, 20. Dan Watson/The Signal

In addition to tables being separated, the restaurant has added plastic between booths. Employees wear face masks and gloves, along with face shields when approaching customers without masks, which has been difficult in the heat of the restaurant.

“They say sometimes when they take it off, they feel dizzy,” Cermeno added. “There’s a lot of restrictions, but we do it to prevent (spread of the virus).”

Even so, customers have been very understanding, Cermeno said. 

“They can see we’re doing our jobs and following the guidelines,” he added.

More so, he says they’re simply excited to be able to come in and eat.

“The customers are happy to come back,” Cermeno said. “They say they missed this place so much, (and that) it tastes so much different (and better when eating in).

“We’re grateful, and we try to do the best we can,” he added.

Now, Cermeno says his main goal is to be able to be at the point where he can bring all his staff back.

Customer Richard Anastasia gets a haircut at N’ Style Salon in Santa Clarita on Friday, June 26, 20. Dan Watson/The Signal

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