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Maricopa reopens

Sam Aldana cuts Art Arroy’s hair May 11 at Joe’s Barbershop in Maricopa.

MARICOPA — Joe’s: A Barber Shop is back open for business after just over a month of being shuttered. With stay-at-home orders expiring for beauty businesses earlier this month, owner and lead barber of the shop, Joe Templin, opened up for appointments May 8.

Templin said the reason for reopening right away was simple: His staff needed their livelihood. He’d always planned to reopen, it was just a matter of when the state allowed him to.

“Well just like everybody else, we’ve got to eat too,” Templin said. “I’ve got five other barbers who work here who have families to feed themselves. Not reopening was never in the cards. We were always going to reopen. It’s just under what parameters.”

Joe’s is operating at half-capacity, which is about 17 people in the shop at one time. But Templin says they hardly even reach that number, with five to six barbers and one customer for each, maybe a couple more waiting, they average about 13-14 people at a given time.

As per guidelines from the state, the shop is refraining from taking walk-ins — a usual staple for customers entering his shop. Templin is also offering disposable medical masks to all of his customers as part of the regulations for reopening, and is encouraging his clients to bring their own when possible.

“People are used to being able to walk in and get in within a certain amount of time (and) that’s not going to happen anymore, unfortunately,” Templin said. “But I think most people are aware that there are going to be changes so we haven’t really ruffled any feathers too much.”

Despite the changes, the shop has rarely been this busy.

“(We’re) way busier, we’re probably booking a week in advance right now,” Templin said. “Most people haven’t had haircuts in a month. … I’d say the majority, probably about 90% of their haircuts are pretty wild and wooly.”

As he spoke, Templin greeted a local police officer and regular customer entering his shop for a haircut. The shop is open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday for appointments only.

Templin stressed that the barbers try their best to maintain a clean and orderly shop, and even had customer, upon entering, remark how clean it smelled inside. The effort is in an attempt to ease the anxiety of customers who may be fearful about entering public spaces during a pandemic.

“I think all barbershops and all salons are this way — we’re all just trying to meet people where they’re at and where they’re comfortable. Some people are really concerned about this virus, other people are a little more lax about it,” Templin said. “We just want to make sure people feel safe and secure when they come in.”

Templin’s neighbor House of Gentry has also reopened. An owner of the business, Sharon Gentry, said the salon is already booked a couple weeks out and is still getting calls for appointments.