SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Personal services -- barber shops, salons, and spas -- in Scotch Plains and Fanwood reopened on Monday, June 22, after a more than three month hiatus because of COVID-19 restrictions.
Hair stylists' customers enthusiastically welcomed their return as they sought to have shaggy hair trimmed and touch-ups on the gray. Manicures, pedicures, and facials were also performed for the first time since mid-March in New Jersey.
"It feels right. We did everything we are supposed to," said Ruth Wolinsky, owner of Able Body Spa (Park Ave., Scotch Plains), who has installed plexiglass covers so that people can get facials. "I think people will feel safe. We are already booked for the next few weeks."
"We are happy to be back," said Kelly Trembley of Salon Four, which during the COVID-19 shutdown moved a few doors down to a larger space formerly occupied by Winterhill Antiques (425 Park Ave.). "We are fully booked until August."
"Words can't describe how thrilled I am to be sitting in this chair," said Anne, from Westfield, whose hair Kelly was cutting. "Other than not seeing my 86-year-old mother, I missed seeing Kelly the most. I've been coming to her for 15 years."
Down the block at Deore (377 Park Ave.), owner Sonia Schiavone said her salon had 200 voicemails shortly after Gov. Phil Murphy announced that salons could reopen June 22.
"We were overwhelmed. I think they broke our phone lines," the clearly elated Schiavone said.
Like Salon Four, The Bearded Barber also changed locations during the COVID closure. Owner Mitch Cohen is thrilled to be back to work.
"If they told me to cut hair while dressed in a space suit, I'd do it," Cohen said. "I'm so happy to be open again."
"It's really great that the barbers and salons are back. Everyone needs their hair cut, and we are all going to look a whole lot better now," said Scotch Plains Mayor Al Smith. "I can't wait to get a haircut and a shave. Please continue to support our local businesses."
In Fanwood, business was brisk at The Shave Loft (265 South Ave.), while the Fanwood Clipper said that appointments have been booking all week. Dana Lindsay, owner of D. Lindsay Salon said her establishment was booked through the end of July.
While it's hard to make up for more than three months of lost revenue, the local business owners are experiencing a resurgence born of pent-up demand.
"I'm sure that I speak for many who smiled knowing that this week we can get our hair cut or get a manicure or pedicure," said Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr. "I will be among those patronizing these small businesses in town. Their owners are friends to so many of us."
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